Pianist subjected to racist message on Twitter while playing at BBC proms as mother says abusive tweet made younger sibling ‘sob uncontrollably’
- Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason said daughter Isata Kanneh-Mason received racist abuse
- But the mother-of-seven has said she was ‘incredibly encouraged’ by support
A pianist was the subject of a racist message on Twitter as she played at the BBC Proms, according to her mother.
Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason said her daughter Isata Kanneh-Mason, 26, was subject to a ‘racist’ Twitter response during her piano performance at the concert on Monday.
She added her younger daughter ‘sobbed uncontrollably’ after accidentally seeing the message over her shoulder while watching the Proms along with 214,000 other TV viewers.
But Ms Kanneh-Mason has now said she felt ‘incredibly encouraged’ by the outpouring of support for her daughter and the ordeal had been turned into ‘joy’ and ‘celebration’.
On Twitter, the mother-of-seven said: ‘A racist Twitter response to @IsataKm playing @BBCProms made one of my younger daughters – who saw it accidentally over my shoulder – sob uncontrollably. It’s a never-ending battle to keep positive, determined and creative. But we will.’
Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason (pictured) said her daughter Isata Kanneh-Mason, 26, was subject to a ‘racist’ Twitter response during her piano performance at the concert on Monday
She added her younger daughter ‘sobbed uncontrollably’ after accidentally seeing the message over her shoulder while watching the Proms along with 214,000 other TV viewers. Pictured: Isata Kanneh-Mason
But yesterday, she wrote: ‘Thank you so much to everyone who responded so kindly to us. We feel incredibly encouraged.
‘What was deeply hurtful and dispiriting has been turned into joy and celebration. By all of you.’
Ms Kanneh-Mason told BBC Radio Nottingham the family had been watching Isata deliver an ‘incredible performance’ before 5,000 people at the Royal Albert Hall – with another 214,000 watching on live television – before they stumbled across the message.
She said the family had been forced to deal with abuse ‘ever since we came to public notice’, but insisted it would not deter them from carrying on or speaking out.
‘To have someone post that racist tweet, it was really hurtful, and I think it pulled us all down to the ground again,’ she said.
Ms Kanneh-Mason, a former lecturer in English at the University of Birmingham, is the mother of seven children who are all classical musicians.
Isata, 26, plays the piano, Braimah, 25, plays the violin, and Konya, 22, and Aminata, 17, play both violin and piano. Meanwhile, Jeneba, 20, and Mariatu, 13, play both cello and piano.
In 2015, the six eldest all competed on Britain’s Got Talent together. They got to the semi-finals and played a rendition of Clean Bandit’s ‘Rather Be’.
In 2023, along with husband Stuart and their children, she co-presented and curated their first radio series for Classic FM, according to Ms Kanneh-Mason’s website.
A BBC spokesman said: ‘We take racist and abusive comments on social media very seriously and the comment in question has been reported.
‘The welfare of the artists we work with is our priority and we continue to monitor our social media accounts.’
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