Oneworld has acquired the memoir of the woman who raised seven extraordinarily talented musical children, the Kanneh-Masons, exploring parenting, music education and the boundless potential of all children.
Sam Carter at Oneworld struck the deal for UK and Commonwealth volume and audio rights (excluding Canada) in House of Music: Raising the Kanneh-Masons by Kadie Kanneh-Mason from Clare Alexander at Aitken Alexander to publish in September 2020.
The Kanneh-Masons, likened by some to the von Trapp family, came to the attention of the nation after appearing on "Britain's Got Talent" in 2015 when music mogul Simon Cowell called them "the world's most talented family of musicians".
Mariatu and Jeneba Kanneh-Mason, nine and 16 years old, play the cello and piano; Aminata and Konya Kanneh Mason, 13 and 18, play the violin and piano; Isata Kanneh-Mason, 23, plays the piano; Braimah Kanneh-Mason, 21, the violin and Sheku Kanneh-Mason, 20, the cello. The latter was the winner of the 2016 BBC Young Musician of the Year competition and notably played the cello to 600 guests at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding as they signed the register, then only 19 years old.
In House of Music: Raising the Kanneh-Masons, the mother of this remarkable family will address how Sheku, a young black boy from a state-funded school in Nottingham, whose parents are not musicians, made it to the BBC's prestigious final, exploring "the balance between nature and nurture" when it comes to talent, as well as "the tensions between the family history of immigration and struggle, and the power of commitment, determination and hope".
"I wanted to write House of Music for several reasons," said Kadie Kanneh-Mason. "Firstly, it is a book about love. Love between parents and children, amongst siblings and within family. It is about how music is an expression of love, and a means to communicate and to transcend background and ethnicity. The book explores the tensions between the family history of immigration and struggle, and the power of commitment, determination and hope. It is a book about the importance of parenting, music education and the boundless potential of all children. I explore the meaning of talent, what it is to be gifted and the balance between nature and nurture in creating the extraordinary. More than anything, this is a book about joy."
Carter said: "I saw in the papers the other day the Kanneh-Masons compared to the von Trapp family … but I’m not sure you really need to compare them to anyone. This family are one of a kind, and we at Oneworld are thrilled to be publishing Kadie’s truthful, rich inside story."