Michelle Cann

Eleanor Sokoloff Chair in Piano Studies

Michelle CannPianist Michelle Cann made her orchestral debut at age fourteen and has since performed with various ensembles including the Florida Orchestra and the New Jersey, Cleveland Institute of Music, and Sphinx symphony orchestras. She has appeared as guest soloist with the Knoxville Symphony and The Dream Unfinished orchestra and will perform with The Philadelphia Orchestra in its debut of Florence Price’s Concerto in One Movement in early 2021.

Ms. Cann regularly appears in recital and as a chamber musician throughout the U.S., China, and South Korea. Notable venues include the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., and the Bermuda Festival; and Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and the Barbican in London with members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Ms. Cann has won top prizes in state, national, and international competitions including the International Russian Music Piano Competition, the Blount Slawson Young Artists Competition, and the Wideman International Piano Competition. In 2019 she served as the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s MAC Music Innovator in recognition of her role as an African-American classical musician who embodies artistry, innovation, and a commitment to education and community engagement. 

Ms. Cann has appeared as cohost and collaborative pianist with NPR’s From The Top and has been featured on WRTI and WHYY-TV in Philadelphia. Her summer festival appearances include the Taos Chamber Music Festival, Yellow Barn, Perlman Music Program, and Pianofest in the Hamptons, where she served as artist in residence.

Ms. Cann has served as the director of two children’s choruses in the El Sistema-inspired program Play On Philly and was among the first class of Community Artist fellows at the Curtis Institute of Music. She served on the faculty of the Sphinx Performance Academy during its inaugural year at the Juilliard School.

Ms. Cann holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in piano performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with Paul Schenly and Daniel Shapiro, and an Artist’s Diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with Robert McDonald.

Ms. Cann joined the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in 2020. Her professional artist management is provided by Curtis.