“I have been deeply impressed by Michelle Cann’s playing, its fine musical intelligence and emotional depth. She has the eloquence and authority of a born performer.” —Richard Goode
“She proffered a tonal palette the size of a symphony orchestra, voiced and colored her tone with a level of 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.” —Chestnut Hill Local (Philadelphia)
“She is a colorist who can charm, and also an athletic powerhouse who can sweep the listener off his or her feet.” —Southampton Press
“Michelle Cann . . . was a compelling, sparkling virtuoso, bringing this riveting work [Florence Price’s Piano Concerto] to life in its first New York performance. " —Boston Musical Intelligencer
Michelle Cann began studying piano at the age of seven and since then has placed in various state, national, and international competitions including the Music Teacher’s National Association Competition, the International Russian Piano Music Competition, the Gilmore Piano Foundation Competition, and the Blount Young Artists National Competition. She made her orchestral debut at the age of 14 and since then has been invited to perform with various orchestras including the Florida Orchestra, Tampa Bay Symphony, Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra, and the Cleveland Institute of Music Symphony Orchestra. She has performed on the nationally broadcast radio show, "From the Top," hosted by pianist Christopher O’ Riley; was featured as the inaugural performer on WRTI 90.1 Philadelphia's new series, "In Recital," and select performances have been broadcast regularly on Philadelphia's WHYY Television.
Michelle has worked with many esteemed artists who include world-renowned pianists Paul Schenly, Daniel Shapiro, Joela Jones, Sergei Babayan, Jerome Lowenthal and Richard Goode. During past summers Michelle has been accepted into such competitive programs as Taos Chamber Music Festival and School, Yellow Barn Chamber Music Festival and the Perlman Music Program Chamber Music festival directed by renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman. Other engagements include performances in the South Hampton Cultural Center, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory, and the Woodmere Art Museum.
Michelle was selected to perform with current students and alumni including Roberto Diaz, president of the Curtis Institute of Music in both Beijing and Shanghai, China and Seoul, Korea. She was also invited to perform Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue with the New Jersey Symphony this past February. Michelle received her BM and MM from the Cleveland Institute of Music and recently graduated with an Artist Diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music where she studied under Robert McDonald.
In 2016, Michelle performed the New York premiere of the Piano Concerto by Florence Price (1887-1953). Price was the first African-American woman to be recognized as a symphonic composer, and the first to have a composition played by a major orchestra. The Boston Musical Intelligencer raved, “Michelle Cann, as the piano soloist, was a compelling, sparkling virtuoso, bringing this riveting work to life in its first New York performance.”
Michelle and her sister Kimberly, also a concert pianist, perform across the USA and internationally as The Cann Sisters Duo.
PRAISE FROM PRESENTERS
“Michelle gave a wonderful performance, particularly the Chopin and Debussy. She also possesses a warm and friendly stage presence. The audience loved her and her performance. They gave her a long standing ovation.
Personally, I very much enjoyed getting to know her and her performance. Given her the quality of her performance of the Debussy, I talked with her about returning next year to play for our Debussy Festival. She said she would like to to to that. So you and I should find a date.”
—Robin Wirthlin, Noontime Concerts, San Francisco
“Michelle was a sensation! She is a strong player and did beautifully. She is also so full of life and gave of herself in talking about what she was going to play. She was a hit and many went up to thank her during our dinner. Thank you for bringing her to us.”
—Dorothy Kennedy, The Sequoias, Portola Valley, CA
Probably the best response we have had to an Intimate Classics. People were really moved and just cheered when she came out to the lobby, stayed to talk, etc. They loved her and we had a lot of requests to bring her back. Maybe with her sister?
Her outreach was no different, one of the best. I am waiting on some videos from education that I can send to you.”
California Center for the Arts, Escondido
"What a force Michelle is! She is one of those people who makes things happen. I really enjoyed her, as did everyone else. She is very open and friendly.
She is a power-house on the piano. The critics who say she 'digs into the piece' are absolutely correct. She had people on the edge of their seats with "Rhapsody in Blue." People's heads were bouncing all over the place...a bit of an exaggeration, but only a bit. Only one person said anything about the new pieces, at least to me. So, since that one person really liked them...I guess all is well. I will ask around and see what people thought. I liked them very much, but I preferred the rest of the concert. However, new music needs to be heard and understood. It is very new here, and I am glad Michelle played the two pieces.
I can say this about the audience...Isit in the back and have a pretty good view of the backs of heads. During Michelle's playing of the Leibowitz and the Ordway, I only saw 2 heads moving around in a distracted manner, and one of those heads coughed. Everyone else seem to be very intent on listening, which tells me they were interested and wanted to hear something new. I will let you know the results of my inquiry.
I loved her Debussy. For me, the "Homage" was just beautiful, so moving. It was played with much tenderness and deep intent. At least that's how I heard it.
We had a very 'jolly' dinner after the concert. This morning I took her out to the Children's Home. Michelle was great with those kids. She made fifty new friends!
We all had a wonderful time, Lisa, and I think Michelle enjoyed being here. She gave her all! Thank you.
—Justine Estes, Black Hills Chamber Music Society