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Monday, January 14, 2019

Sheku Kanneh-Mason & The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra at The Orpheum Theater in New Orleans, Louisiana

A couple of months ago, I received a flier in the mail from the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. It said Sheku Kanneh-Mason would be playing with The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO). I looked at the flier and did a double-take. I said, that's the guy that played in Harry & Meghan's Wedding (May 2018). He's coming to New Orleans!?! I immediately logged on LPO's website and purchased two tickets. There was no way, I was going to miss him in concert. You may remember, I wrote a very detailed and lengthy post about the royal wedding. One aspect of the wedding that I loved was the music. Especially when Sheku performed Ave Maria. I LOVE that song! It's so beautiful and something about it just touches my soul. I remember staring at the television when he played Ave Maria during the wedding. Well, this concert (1/10/19) took place at The Orpheum Theater here in New Orleans (pictured below). The Orpheum Theater was built in 1918 in the New Orleans Central Business District. When my mom was a little girl, she saw The Sound of Music there. It's so beautiful. Look at the architecture. Very intimate. It seats about 1400+ guests.

The Orpheum was fully renovated after Hurricane Katrina. It sits directly across from The Roosevelt Hotel (pictured below). The Roosevelt Hotel is a Waldorf Astoria Hotel. At a minimum, you're looking at $300 per night to stay there. It is luxurious! Gorgeous weddings. Meeting spaces. Domenica's and The Sazerac Bar is located in The Roosevelt. I've stayed at The Ritz Carlton New Orleans (here and here). It's around the corner from the Orpheum and Roosevelt.

Below are pictures of the inside of The Orpheum. They serve cocktails before the performance. I love the beautiful marble floors, tassels on the doors and balcony. Seating is very close. If you are tall, I would suggest sitting on the back row. I giggled when I read a couple of reviews about this and it is true. I'm 6' and so glad I purchased seats in the back.

Hi! That's me (and part of my mom hahaha) sitting below for the pre-concert lecture (the pre-concert lecture started for 6:30pm, the concert began at 7:30pm). The conductor talked about the story of Scheherazade (One Thousand And One Nights) and Sheku Kanneh-Mason. Just to give you a little background. Sheku was born in 1999. He's from Nottingham, England. He was born to Stuart Mason, a business manager from Antigua, and Dr. Kadiatu Kanneh, a former university lecturer from Sierra Leone (source). He is the third of seven children. His siblings also play music! Their twitter handle is @thekannehmasons All study at either Trinity School, Nottingham and/or Royal Academy of Music, London. Sheku's twitter handle is @ShekuKM Sheku is a full-time ABRSM Scholarship student at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He was the winner of the 2016 BBC Young Musician Competition. His debut recording for Decca Classics, Inspiration, was released in January 2018. He's also received Male Artist of the Year, Critics Choice Classic BRIT Awards and became the first recipient of the BRIT Certified Breakthrough Award.

We then moved to our official seats (I took my jacket off), for the concert. Remember the back has more leg room. You don't feel far away at all. It's very intimate. The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra warmed up and was ready to begin.

Sheku's performance (Elgar Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op 85) was absolutely brilliant. I'm not over-exaggerating. He's a musical genius. Some people play music & that's it. Sheku plays with such feeling & depth. It was as if the cello wanted to sing & talk. You could feel each note. He draws you into the music. I got goosebumps and almost cried (I was holding it back). His performance was that beautiful. If you have a chance to see him in concert, do not hesitate. On Twitter, he mentioned that he will be in Atlanta at Symphony Hall in April 25-27 (2019). Tickets on his website! I'm so glad I got to see him & hear him play. This was definitely a dream come true for me. It was a highlight for 2019.

His performance at The Royal Wedding.
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