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Michelle Cann and Karen Slack To Receive Sphinx Medal of Excellence

Pianist and soprano honored for achievements in musicianship, advocacy, and ambassadorship

Michelle CannKaren SlackEleanor Sokoloff Chair in Piano Studies Michelle Cann (Piano ’13, ArtistYear ’15) and soprano Karen Slack (Opera ’02), alongside violinist Randall Goosby, have been awarded the 2022 Sphinx Medal of Excellence. The highest honor bestowed by the Sphinx Organization, the medal recognizes extraordinary classical musicians of color and comes with a $50,000 career grant. Recipients are artists who early in their career demonstrate artistic excellence, outstanding work ethic, a spirit of determination, and an ongoing commitment to leadership and their communities. In a recent press release, Sphinx President and Artistic Director Afa S. Dworkin lauded the two alumnae for “the artistry and visionary leadership of Karen Slack and her #KikiKonversations as she sheds light upon historically excluded artists,” and “Michelle Cann’s vision and ongoing excellence in uncovering and championing the voice of Florence Price, evolving the classical music canon for our sector.” Medal ceremonies will take place in Washington, D.C. in March 2022.


Curtis students, alumni, and faculty, are making remarkable accomplishments in the music world and beyond. Learn more about Curtis in the News.