Home / Artists / Michelle Cann, piano

Michelle Cann, piano


Pianist Michelle Cann has a deep musical commitment to performing a wide range of repertoire throughout the US and to bringing the arts to local communities. She 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 Cann 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.  She 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.

Hailing from a musical family in Avon Park, Florida, Michelle Cann began playing 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 studying with Robert McDonald. Soon after, 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. 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 is also a 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.

"It was an ecstatic performance which left the audience breathless and in awe of [her] artistry"

-Southampton Press

Leon Bates, piano, and Michelle Cann, piano

Sunday, December 9, 2018 - 3:00 PM

American Philosophical Society, Benjamin Franklin Hall
427 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

The Program

Bernstein & Before
Copland: Danzón cubano
Ravel: La Valse [Arr.]
Gershwin: An American in Paris [Arr.]
Ravel: Boléro [Arr.]
Bernstein: Symphonic Dances from West Side Story [Arr.]


This concert is supported by The Presser Foundation

No old concerts

Chestnut Hill Local

“...contrapuntal dexterity worthy of Palestrina or Bach, and shaped and floated [Chopin’s] melancholy melodies with the lyrical artistry of the late coloratura soprano, Dame Joan Sutherland.”

Southampton Press

“It was an ecstatic performance which left the audience breathless and in awe of [her] artistry”

Richard Goode, piano

“I have been deeply impressed by Michelle's playing, its fine musical intelligence and emotional depth. She has the eloquence and authority of a born performer”

Subscribe to Our Email List!

And receive special discount offers and program information

Skip to toolbar