Available April 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.
Pianist Michelle Cann made her orchestral debut at age fourteen and has since performed as a soloist with numerous ensembles including The Philadelphia Orchestra, the Florida Orchestra, the North Carolina Symphony, and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.
A champion of the music of Florence Price, Ms. Cann performed the New York City premiere of the composer’s Concerto in One Movement with The Dream Unfinished Orchestra in July 2016 and the Philadelphia premiere with The Philadelphia Orchestra in February 2021, which the Philadelphia Inquirer called “exquisite.” She has also performed Price’s works for solo piano and chamber ensemble for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Music Society of Detroit, and the New World Symphony, among other presenters.
Ms. Cann regularly appears in solo and chamber recitals throughout the U.S., China, and South Korea. Notable venues include the National Centre for the Performing Arts (Beijing), the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, D.C.), Walt Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles), and the Barbican (London).
Ms. Cann has appeared as cohost and collaborative pianist with NPR’s From The Top and has been featured on WRTI-FM and WHYY-TV in Philadelphia. Her summer festival appearances have included the Taos Chamber Music Festival, Yellow Barn, Perlman Music Program, Music Academy of the West, Geneva Music Festival, and Pianofest in the Hamptons, where she serves as artist in residence.
An award winner at top international competitions, 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 studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Curtis Institute of Music, where she holds the inaugural Eleanor Sokoloff Chair in Piano Studies.
American soprano Karen Slack has garnered international renown for her artistic versatility, charisma, and entrepreneurial endeavors, receiving critical acclaim for her performances in both lead operatic roles and on the concert stage. Known for her leadership and advocacy as a curator and artistic advisor, she is a sought-after collaborator.
Ms. Slack has appeared with the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Washington National Opera, and San Francisco Opera. In recent seasons, she has been seen in Porgy and Bess (Serena) with the Metropolitan Opera; Fire Shut Up in My Bones (Billie) in her debut with the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis; Falstaff (Alice Ford), Il trovatore (Leonora), and Tosca with Arizona Opera; Aïda (title role) with Austin Opera; Champion (Emelda Griffith) with New Orleans Opera; Don Giovanni (Donna Anna) with Nashville Opera; La Traviata (Violetta) with Sacramento Opera; Le villi (Anna) with Scottish Opera; and Dead Man Walking (Sister Rose) with the Minnesota, Atlanta, and Vancouver opera companies. Additionally, Ms. Slack had a featured role as the Opera Diva in Tyler Perry’s movie and soundtrack, For Colored Girls. Ms. Slack is an artistic advisor for Portland Opera, co-director for the 2020–21 opera program at the Banff Centre for the Performing Arts, and co-chair of the Women’s Opera Network with Opera America.
During the 2020–21 season, Ms. Slack appeared in digital performances with Houston Grand Opera, Madison Opera, and Minnesota Opera. She took on a starring role in Driving While Black with UrbanArias and launched her digital talk show, #KikiKonversations, which garnered critical acclaim from both Opera News and the New York Times.
Ms. Slack co-created and performed in #SayTheirNames – Women of the Movement, a film recital and production in partnership with LyricFest; performed in recital for Opera Philadelphia, and was the featured vocalist alongside actor/narrator Liev Schreiber in Orpheus Chamber Orchestra’s “Speaking Truth to Power” program.
Equally at home on the concert stage, Ms. Slack has performed with various orchestras throughout the U.S. and the Melbourne Symphony, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic, and St. Petersburg Philharmonic orchestras abroad. She made her Carnegie Hall debut as Agnes Sorel in Tchaikovsky’s Maid of Orleans with Orchestra of St. Luke’s. In the 2019–20 season she was a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra in the world premiere of Hannibal Lokumbe’s Healing Tones with conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin and with the Union Symphony Orchestra for Wagner’s Wesendonk Lieder.
A graduate of the Adler Fellowship and Merola Opera programs at the San Francisco Opera, Ms. Slack is also a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music. She is a winner of numerous competitions and awards, notably the Montserrat Caballe International Competition, Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Rosa Ponselle International Vocal Competition, Jose Iturbi International Competition for Voice, George London Award, Marian Anderson ICON Award, Portland Opera Lieber Award, and prizes from the Licia Albanese-Puccini and Liederkranz foundations.
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