10-year-old pianist plays Chopin’s Fantaisie Impromptu with extraordinary command and poise

3 July 2023, 21:54 | Updated: 14 July 2023, 16:16

10-year-old Jeneba Kanneh-Mason plays Chopin’s Fantasie Impromptu in 2013

By Kyle Macdonald

Pianist Jeneba Kanneh-Mason is now one of the nation’s finest young musicians. This performance from 2013 gives an incredible insight into her developing talent.

Meet a 10-year-old who was in full command of music, giving a Chopin performance beyond her years.

The Fantaisie-Impromptu is a piece for solo piano at a breathless tempo, with rapid rolling broken chords in the left hand and flowing semi-quavers in the right. Composed in 1834, the fantasy showcases the full virtuosity, poetry and inventiveness of Chopin’s writing.

As fiendish and technical as it is, a talented pianist will have command of the notes. But as with the greatest music performances, it’s the expression, emotion and poetry beyond those notes that hit the heart.

And that’s just what we got from this talented youngster ten years ago. It’s a five-minute window into the musical ability of a prodigy who has already gone on to achieve great things.

The young player is Jeneba Kanneh-Mason, the third youngest of the seven siblings of the Kanneh-Mason family.

It was filmed by her father Stuart Mason for the family’s YouTube channel, which has showcased the almost unbelievable musical talents of the two brothers and five sisters as they have lived and grown with music.

Read more: Who are the Kanneh-Masons? All you need to know about the exceptional musical family

The Kanneh-Mason family react to their very first viral video | Classic FM

“Jeneba plays Chopin with sensitivity and maturity beyond her tender age of only 10,” commented one YouTube user, on this performance.

“Such technical ability and such emotion,” remarked another.

This video was recorded a few months after the young pianist gained Grade 8 Distinction and won the Nellie Greenhill Memorial Prize from the Associated Board for the highest marks in the Nottingham area.

Jeneba is now aged 20, and is studying at the Royal College of Music, where she holds the Victoria Robey Scholarship and studies piano with Vanessa Latarche.

Her talents now extend to great piano concertos with recent performances including Tchaikovsky, Ravel and Saint-Saëns’ concertos, as well as Florence Price’s Piano Concerto in One Movement with Chineke! Orchestra.

Jeneba was also among the young performers that were showcased at Classic FM’s Rising Stars with Julian Lloyd Webber in 2022. Watch her intoxicating performance of Liszt’s rollicking Hungarian Rhapsody No.2 below.

Jeneba Kanneh-Mason plays Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 | Classic FM’s Rising Stars

That raw talent and sense of poetry in music-making has only grown over a decade. She is a very special musician and one to watch into the future.