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Inside Decca's global vision for classical's new generation / Music Week

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Decca Classics label director Dominic Fyfe has spoken to Music Week about the next generation of stars on the label.

Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason has been leading the way at the company with two successful solo albums. Sheku and older sister Isata Kanneh-Mason are Music Week's cover stars, as the family gear up for their upcoming Q4 album Carnival. 

"They have been part of a wider renaissance in renewing the artist roster of Decca, in that we now have quite an extensive generation of artists under 30 or under 35," said Fyfe. "I think over half of the Decca Classics roster is now under 35. We were very much looking for artists of that generation to build long relationships with them."

Sheku Kanneh-Mason's 2018 debut Inspiration has sales to date of 47,182, according to the Official Charts Company. 

Other rising stars include saxophonist Jess Gillam, whose second album Time has just debuted at No.1 in the classical charts, and Norwegian soprano Lise Davidsen. Classical has seen an increase in consumption on streaming platforms.

"We also have some new signings not announced yet, so it's very much part of that process of renewal that the Decca Classics label is going through," added Fyfe. "We're still very proud of, and working with, older artists. But one has to be realistic that some of those recording careers are coming to an end and the label has to renew itself." 

Sheku Kanneh-Mason's Elgar album, with Sir Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra, made the Top 10 earlier this year and has 16,557 UK sales so far. The album has amassed 22 million streams globally.

"These artists are once in a generation, you see somebody that transcends the instrument in a way," said Fyfe. "One of the wonderful things about Sheku is that he gives our industry a future, he gives classical music a future. These people come along very rarely."  PHOTO CREDIT: Jake Turney