Concert pianist Michelle Cann is a young artist with a deep musical committment to performing a wide range of repertoire throughout the US and to bringing the arts to local communities. Michelle made her orchestral debut at age 14 and has since performed with various orchestras including the Florida Orchestra, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and the Cleveland Institute of Music Symphony Orchestra. She regularly appears in recital and as a chamber musician throughout the US, China and South Korea at premiere concert halls including the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Michelle is under the management of Lisa Sapinkopf Artists.
Michelle has been frequently featured on both WRTI 90. 1 and WHYY TV in Philadelphia on such shows as Creatively Speaking with Susan Lewis, Onstage at Curtis, and Philadelphia Music Makers where she was the host of the hour-long program which alternated between her own personal reflections and solo performances. Michelle recently soloed with The Dream Unfinished Orchestra in New York City, an organization whose purpose is to bring to the forefront those female and minority composers too long lingering in the background of American music. She performed the New York City premiere of Concerto in One Movement by composer Florence Price, the first African-American woman to be recognized as a symphonic composer. Her performance was well received by the audience and press alike. The Boston Musical Intelliger wrote “Michelle Cann…was a compelling, sparkling virtuoso, bringing this riveting work to life in its first New York performance”
Hailing from a musical family in Avon Park, Florida, Michelle began the piano at age 7, but soon added organ, steel drums, trombone, tuba and violin. Her primary focus on the piano earned her top prizes in state, national and international competitions including the International Russian Piano Music Competition, the Blount Young Artists National Competition and most recently the 2014 Wideman International Piano Competition.
Michelle received her Bachelor and Master degrees in piano performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music studying with Paul Schenly and Daniel Shapiro and received an Artist Diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, soon after which she was placed on the Curtis staff as one of the new Collaborative Staff Pianists. In addition, Michelle is on the faculty of the Luzerne Music Center as a Coordinator/Instructor of Piano and Chamber Music. Her summer festival appearances include the Taos Chamber Music Festival, YellowBarn Chamber Music Festival, Perlman Music Program Chamber Music Festival, and most recently, Artist in Residence at Pianofest in the Hamptons. Michelle currently resides in Philadelphia, studying with Robert McDonald.
Michelle is a young leader in creating opportunities for music education in her community. During her time in Philadelphia, she has served as the choir director of two thirty-member children choruses in the El-Sistema inspired program, “Play On Philly”, and is the founder of a new program, “Keys to Connect”, which strives to strengthen the bond between parent and child through the shared study of piano. She served as one of three Curtis Institute of Music inaugural fellows of ArtistYear. Through that one year fellowship, Michelle worked with local community partners such as City Year, Teach for America and AmeriCorps to bring the arts to local Philadelphia communities where arts education and access are unattainable.