Renowned British cellist has his passport canceled by Home Office

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A British cellist who was the first black winner of the BBC Young Musician Award in 2016 and performed at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan has had his passport canceled by the Home Office.

Sheku Kanneh-Mason, 22, who was born and raised in Nottingham and appeared alongside his siblings on ITV’s variety show Britain’s Got Talent in 2015, sent his UK passport as part of ” an additional passport application to facilitate international visa and work permit applications.

Kanneh-Mason, whose father is Antiguan and mother is from Sierra Leone, wrote on Facebook: “Applied for an additional UK passport with Home Office approval to help with visa and permit applications international work in this post #Brexit #Covid world with my sister, pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason.

“Meet 15 minutes apart, identical documents submitted. She receives the original passport and the second in the week. Mine comes back canceled on June 10 (expiration 2029).

“Since then, despite constant appeals, I have NO explanation, NO assistance to come and NO way to play the commitments I am committed to. Ideas appreciated as soon as possible.

After being contacted by the Guardian, the Home Office said it was a mistake and vowed to issue a replacement as soon as possible.

Kanneh-Mason was the subject of a BBC Four documentary titled Young, Gifted and Classical: The Making of a Maestro in November 2016.

He signed a major recording contract with the music label Decca Classics the same month.

It was reported in February 2018 that Kanneh-Mason’s Inspiration album was ‘the best-selling UK debut album of the year to date’, entering the UK Albums chart at number 18, went to No 1 on the British Classic Albums chart and had reached 2.5m streams on Spotify.

He won the Classic Category of the South Bank Sky Arts Awards, Male Artist of the Year Award and Critics’ Choice Award at the Classic Brit Awards, and was named MBE at the 2020 New Year’s Honors for Service Rendered to the music.

A spokesperson for the Home Office said, “We are in contact with Mr. Kanneh-Mason to resolve this situation and apologize for any inconvenience caused. A replacement passport will be issued as soon as possible.


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