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A Family Affair – When Siblings Perform Together

It’s not unusual in the music world to find members of the same family performing together. But seeing siblings achieve fame as soloists independently of each other and giving major concerts with international orchestras is quite the exception. The French brothers Renaud and Gautier Capuçon and the British siblings Sheku and Isata Kanneh-Mason will perform at the Isarphilharmonie in April.

A young man and a young woman close to each other, they both have Afro hairstyles and laugh into the camera.
Performing together since childhood: Isata and Sheku Kanneh-Manson Copyright: Decca

The Jacksons, the Kelly family, the Bachs: musical talent often runs in the family. That siblings often make music together from an early age comes as no surprise. It’s less common for several members of a family to turn their passion for music into a successful career and become household names.


One of the most famous musical dynasties in the classical period was the Bach family, which shaped Germany’s musical landscape for generations. The Mozart and Strauss families, too, set the tone in their day. As was usually the case in those days, it was mainly the male musicians who stood in the spotlight. The women, though by no means less talented, play at best a supporting role in the annals of history. Like the exceptional pianist “Nannerl” Anna Maria, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s sister.

Portrait of the violinist Renaud Capuçon
The older of the two Capuçon brothers, violinist Renaud, will appear with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra. Copyright: Simon Fowler
Cellist Gautier Capuçon sits frontally in front of the camera, supporting himself sideways with his arm while holding his bow in his hand.
Cellist Gautier Capuçon will perform at the Isarphilharmonie with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. Copyright: Anoush Abrar

Fortunately, things have changed, and sisters no longer play second fiddle to their famous brothers. At the Isarphilharmonie, two pairs of siblings will be performing as soloists with symphony orchestras this April. One of these are Cellist Gautier Capuçon and his older brother, violinist Renaud Capuçon. While Renaud will be playing with the Munich Philharmonic on 10 and 11 April, his younger brother Gautier, who took up the cello at the age of five, will be appear as soloist with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra on 22 April. The Capuçons come from Chambéry in France, studied at the Paris Conservatoire and are in demand as soloists on concert stages throughout the world.


The Kanneh-Mason family from London has brought forth as many as seven musicians in a single generation. Two of them – Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason and pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason – are currently conquering the concert stages of the classical world and will be performing with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Gasteig on 16 and 17 April.

Portrait of the cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason. He wears a casual outfit, holds his cello in his hand and sits in front of a brown background.
The cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason. Copyright: Jake Turney
Portrait of the pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason. She is sitting behind a grand piano in a yellow dress, laughing. The wall behind her is striped in yellow, blue, red and brown.
The pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason. Copyright: Robin Clewley

Born in 1999, Sheku rose to fame after performing at the wedding of Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Isata, his sister, born in 1996, was discovered by Elton John, who visited the University of Music in London in search of candidates for his sponsorship programme. A joint performance with the pop star in Los Angeles marked the beginning of Isata’s career.


Concerts in the Isarphilharmonie