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Abel Selaocoe

A multifaceted artist, South African cellist Abel Selaocoe pushes the limits of his instrument and the ways of composing and playing music, both solo and with others. Deeply attached to his homeland, in 2016 he formed the trio Chesaba, specialising in African music, with whom he performs several of his own compositions. Rejecting the compartmentalisation of genres, he designs recital programmes with a strong political and educational dimension that highlight the links between Western and non-Western music with the aim of diversifying the audience for classical music. A committed artist, he joined the Power Up Music Creator, an initiative of the PRS Foundation to combat anti-black racism and racial discrimination in the music sector.
A 2018 graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music (UK), Abel Selaocoe made his solo debut at the BBC Proms in 2021, where he organised a joint programme between the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Chesaba and the Gnawa Ensemble. He also collaborates with equally eclectic artists including Bernhard Schimpelsberger, Tim Garland, Seckou Keita, Giovanni Sollima, Famoudou Don Moye and Gwilym Simcock. He has performed at a number of festivals including Kings Place, Norfolk & Norwich, Ryedale. He regularly performs with renowned ensembles such as the BBC Concert Orchestra, Manchester Collective and Britten Sinfonia. In September 2022, he released his first album Where is Home? (Hae ke Kae) with Warner, which has the theme of home and refuge; an original and daring album to which our committee has decided to award a Qobuzissime unanimously. © Pierre Lamy/Qobuz


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