Michelle Cann

"Technically fearless with…an enormous, rich sound”—La Scena Musicale

Lauded as “exquisite” by The Philadelphia Inquirer and “a pianist of sterling artistry” by Gramophone, Michelle Cann has become one of the most sought-after pianists of her generation. She made her debut in 2021 with The Philadelphia Orchestra and has recently performed concertos with The Cleveland Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Orquestra Sinfônica Municipal de São Paulo, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the symphony orchestras of Atlanta, Baltimore, and Cincinnati. Highlights of Cann’s 2023-24 season include appearances with the Charlotte, Hawaii, Indianapolis, Québec, Sarasota, and Winnipeg symphony orchestras, and recitals in New York City, Portland, Berkeley, Beverly Hills, and Denver.

Recognized as a leading interpreter of the piano music of Florence Price, Cann performed the New York City premiere of Price’s Piano Concerto in One Movement with The Dream Unfinished Orchestra in July 2016. Her recording of the concerto with the New York Youth Symphony won a Grammy Award in 2023. Her acclaimed debut solo album Revival, featuring music by Price and Margaret Bonds, was released in May 2023.

Cann was the recipient of the 2022 Sphinx Medal of Excellence, the highest honor bestowed by the Sphinx Organization. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in piano performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music and an Artist’s Diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music. Cann joined the Curtis piano faculty in 2020 as the inaugural Eleanor Sokoloff Chair in Piano Studies, and she joined the piano faculty of the Manhattan School of Music in 2023.

Listen now to Michelle Cann’s solo album Revival, Music of Price and Bonds, by scanning the QR code below using the camera on your mobile phone. More information at Curtis.edu/revival.

Download Full-length Biography

Eleanor Sokoloff Chair in Piano Studies

Ms. Cann is the inaugural Eleanor Sokoloff Chair in Piano Studies. The chair honors the memory of the school’s longest serving faculty member, the esteemed Eleanor Sokoloff, and is to be held in perpetuity only by an exceptionally gifted and forward-thinking female pianist.

Media

Images

High-resolution files are available to download from the full promotional kit

01 - 09 Michelle Cann (credit Steven Mareazi Willis)

02 - 09 Michelle Cann (credit Jiyang Chen)

03 - 09 Michelle Cann with the Philadelphia Orchestra (credit Jeff Fusco)

04 - 09 Michelle Cann with the Philadelphia Orchestra (credit Jeff Fusco)

05 - 09 Michelle Cann with the Philadelphia Orchestra (credit Jeff Fusco)

06 - 09 Michelle Cann with the Philadelphia Orchestra (credit Jeff Fusco)

07 - 09 Michelle Cann in Field Concert Hall

08 - 09 Michelle Cann in Field Concert Hall

09 - 09 Michelle Cann with the North Carolina Symphony (credit Michael Zirkle)

  • Michelle Cann performs selections from Piano Concerto in One Movement by Florence Price with the Philadelphia Orchestra; Verizon Hall, February 2021


    Ms. Cann performs Ballade No. 3 in E-flat major, Op. 47 by Frédéric Chopin; Gould Rehearsal Hall, July 2020


    Ms. Cann performs Piano Sonata in E minor by Florence Price as guest host for From the Top; Interlochen Center for the Arts, March 2019


    Ms. Cann performs Ballade Op. 10, No. 2 by Johannes Brahms; February 2021


    Ms. Cann teaches 10 short lessons on Chopin’s 3rd Ballade; Tonebase; March 2023


    Ms. Cann is featured on PBS/Great Performances “Now Hear This”; April 2022


    Find more performances of Ms. Cann on YouTube


  • Revival, Music of Price & Bonds

    Michelle Cann’s debut solo piano recording, Revival, celebrates the vast legacy of Florence Price and Margaret Bonds, whose extraordinary music was either neglected in their lifetimes or abandoned after their deaths.

    “[Cann] possesses a pristine technical command of the keyboard, and is capable of transmitting in every note a surprising calm and beauty, today a rare gift.” –EarRelevant

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    Florence Price: Piano Concerto in One Movement with New York Youth Symphony

    GRAMMY Award-winning Recording!

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    Our Stories: Contemporary Works by Black & Latinx Composers

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    Uncovered, Vol. 2: Florence B. Price — Catalyst Quartet & Michelle Cann

    Released in February 2022 on Azica Records, the album is the second issue of a multi-volume anthology highlighting chamber music works by historically important Black composers which aims to bring greater awareness and programming of their music. Vol. 2 explores the work of the African-American composer Florence B. Price, and includes four world premiere recordings. Already garnering critical acclaim, the release underlines the importance of Price’s output for chamber music and showcases all six of her surviving works for string quartet and piano quintet in “richly imagined performances” (Financial Times) by the Catalyst Quartet and Michelle Cann.

    Learn more about the release

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Press

Michelle Cann [is] a pianist of sterling artistry.

—Gramophone, March 2022

Pianist Michelle Cann is exquisite…A more stirring and authoritative performance may not exist. It sets a standard.

—The Philadelphia Inquirer

She’s technically fearless, with a bold attack and an enormous, rich sound…. But even more than Cann’s virtuosity, it was her joyous, lit-from-within energy that connected with the audience.

—La Scena Musicale

Repertoire

Repertoire is subject to change and must be approved by Michelle Cann. Contact the Curtis Institute of Music with any inquiries.

  • View as PDF

    BEETHOVEN Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58
    BEETHOVEN Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 73 (“Emperor”)
    CHOPIN Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11
    CHOPIN Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21
    LISZT Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major, S. 124
    GERSHWIN Rhapsody in Blue (can be paired with Price Piano Concerto in One Movement)
    GERSHWIN Second Rhapsody
    MACDOWELL Concerto No. 2 in D minor, Op. 23
    MENDELSSOHN Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 25
    MOZART Concerto No. 12 in A major, K. 414
    MOZART Concerto No. 21 in C major, K. 467
    MOZART Concerto No. 23 in A major, K. 488
    POULENC Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra in D minor, FP 61*
    PRICE Concerto in One Movement (can be paired with Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue, Gershwin Second Rhapsody, Ravel Concerto in G major, or Strauss Burleske in D minor)
    RACHMANINOFF Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18
    RAVEL Concerto in G major (can be paired with Price Piano Concerto in One Movement)
    SAINT-SAËNS Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 22
    SCHUMANN Concerto in A minor, Op. 54
    STRAUSS Burleske in D minor, TrV 145 (can be paired with Price Piano Concerto in One Movement)
    TCHAIKOVSKY Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor, Op. 23
    *performed with Kimberly Cann
  • View as PDF

    RECITAL PROGRAM I
    The Women of Chicago’s Black Renaissance
    Performance to include spoken commentary and storytelling about the fascinating lives and journeys of these trailblazing artists.

    PRICE Fantasie nègre No. 1
    PRICE Fantasie nègre No. 2
    PRICE Fantasie nègre No. 4
    BONDS Spiritual Suite
    JACKSON KING Four Seasonal Sketches
    HOLT Negro Dance Op. 25, No. 1
    SCOTT Improvisation on Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in C-sharp minor
    SCOTT Improvisation on Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2

    Program to include intermission. Program order to be confirmed.

     

    RECITAL PROGRAM II

    GINASTERA Piano Sonata No. 1
    THOMPSON My Dungeon Shook, Three American Preludes
    RAVEL La Valse
    —intermission—
    GULLA Ballade for Piano
    Note: new work written for Michelle Cann
    GRANT STILL A Deserted Plantation
    Spiritual
    Young Missy
    Dance
    LISZT Mephisto Waltz No. 1, S. 514

     

    Alternate option for the second half of the program (keeping the same first half above):

    PRICE Sonata in E minor
    LISZT Mephisto Waltz No. 1, S. 514

Collaborations

  • Ms. Cann regularly performs duo recitals with her sister, pianist Kimberly Cann. Together their “sheer verve and evident passion is something to behold” (Mountain Xpress).

  • Praised as a “pianist of sterling artistrybyGramophone, Michelle Cann, esteemed Curtis alumna and piano faculty member, will perform an electrifying program with the acclaimed Erinys Quartet, the school’s new fellowship quartet in residence. This concert includes Antonin Dvořák’s thrilling Piano Quintet in A major, one of the finest examples of late Romantic chamber music in the repertoire. The Erinys Quartet, whose members have roots in Estonia, Lithuania, Greece, and the United States, was formed at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki and begins its highly anticipated two-year residency at Curtis in the fall of 2023. 

  • The twice Grammy-nominated Imani Winds teams up with Michelle Cann to perform a varied program spanning from Poulenc’s beloved Sextet for Piano and Winds to celebrated new works.

     

  • Available in the 2025-26 season, Michelle Cann and the Juilliard String Quartet join forces to perform Schumann’s majestic Piano Quintet in E-flat major, Op. 44. The Juilliard String Quartet is celebrated for its unparalleled artistry and enduring vigor. Together with Cann, “a pianist of sterling artistry” (Gramophone), the ensemble is sure to deliver electrifying performances. 

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  • Cuban-American cellist Tommy Mesa, First Prize winner of the 2016 Sphinx Competition, joins forces with Michelle Cann to offer varied and compelling duo recital programs. The duo’s debut album, comprised of works of young composers of color commissioned by the Sphinx Organization, is anticipated in fall 2023. 
  • Renowned for her artistic versatility, charisma, and entrepreneurial endeavors, soprano Karen Slack performs recitals with Michelle Cann, including songs by Florence Price and Margaret Bonds.

Residencies

Collegiate

Engaging with communities and working with students is central to Ms. Cann’s mission as a performing artist and educator. She has experience designing and leading in-school interactive performances and individual instruction curated by students’ age, skill level, and learning objectives. Her goal is to meet students where they are and to use music as a means of connection.

Ms. Cann offers a variety of instruction for collegiate level music students, including:

  • Piano master classes
  • Chamber music coaching
  • Workshops on developing and leading effective community engagement activities
  • Lecture-demonstrations on Florence Price, Margaret Bonds, and other topics

(photo credit: ECU News Services)

Elementary through High School

Ms. Cann offers age-appropriate interactive programs encouraging active participation with a focus on performance and learning objectives. She also offers piano master classes for advanced high school students.

Contact

General Management
Andrew Lane
Vice President, Touring and Artist Management
(215) 717-3124
andrew.lane@curtis.edu

Booking Inquiries (North America)
Julie Gaitens
Booking Representative
(215) 717-3146
julie.gaitens@curtis.edu

Brayton Arvin
Artist Manager and Booking Representative
(215) 875-4204
brayton.arvin@curtis.edu

Booking Inquiries (Europe)
Julika Castro
Booking Representative, Europe
+49 (0)178-514 43 26
julika.castro@curtis.edu

Advancing for Confirmed Engagements
Catelyn Cohen
Manager of Artist Services
(215) 717-3129
catelyn.cohen@curtis.edu

Visit artist website

@MichelleCannPianist
@MichelleACann