January 30, 2022 @ 2:30 PM| $25 Get Tickets
WORLD OF THE PIANO
Hailed as “a compelling, sparkling virtuoso” (Boston Music Intelligencer), Michelle Cann is an exquisite pianist and champion of music by Florence Price, the first African-American woman to be recognized as a symphonic composer. Cann made her orchestral debut at the age of 14 and has performed in recital and as a chamber musician and orchestral soloist throughout the United States, China and South Korea. She has also won top prizes in state, national and international competitions including the International Russian Music Piano Competition, Blount Slawson Young Artists Competition and Wideman International Piano Competition.
Frédéric Chopin: Ballade No. 3 in A-flat Major, op. 47
Florence Price: Sonata in E Minor
Johannes Brahms: Ballade in D Major, op. 10, No. 2
Johannes Brahms: Variations on an Original Theme, op. 21, No. 1
Florence Price: Fantasie Nègre No. 1 in E Minor
Margaret Bonds: Troubled Water
Program subject to change.
This performance is sponsored by Crescent Cities Charities, providing educational assistance to promising students with financial need, and supporting charities and community organizations. Learn more at cccharities.org.
MEET THE ARTIST
“A compelling, sparkling virtuoso” (Boston Music Intelligencer), pianist Michelle Cann made her orchestral debut at age fourteen and has since performed as a soloist with numerous ensembles including the PhiladelphiaOrchestra, the Florida Orchestra, the North CarolinaSymphony, and theNew Jersey Symphony Orchestra.
A champion of the music of Florence Price, 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 and Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguinin 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.
Highlights of her summer 2021 activities include a repeat performance with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, a debut with the Cleveland Orchestra at the Blossom Music Festival, an appearance with the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, and a role on the jury of the Cleveland International Piano Competition.
Cann regularly appears in recital and as a chamber musician throughout the United States, China and South Korea. Notable venues include the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.; and Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and the Barbican in London with members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Cann regularly performs duo recitals with her sister, pianist Kimberly Cann; together their “sheer verve and evident passion is something to behold” (Mountain Xpress). Cann has appeared as cohost and collaborative pianist with NPR’s From The Top, collaborating with actor/conductor Damon Gupton, violinist Leila Josefowicz, and violinist and MacArthur Fellow Vijay Gupta. She has also 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.
Cann has won top prizes in state, national and international competitions including the International Russian Music Piano Competition, the Blount Slawson Young Artists Competition, and the Wideman International Piano Competition. 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.
Cann manifests this commitment through her activities in Philadelphia and as part of touring engagements around the globe. She has served as the director of two children’s choruses in the El Sistema-inspired program Play On Philly and was among the first class of Artist Year fellows at the Curtis Institute of Music, where she worked with community partners City Year, Teach for America, and AmeriCorps to provide arts education and access to underserved communities in Philadelphia.In 2019 she served on the faculty of the Sphinx Performance Academy during its inaugural year at the Juilliard School.
Cann holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in piano performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with Paul Schenly and Dr. Daniel Shapiro, and an Artist’s Diploma from the Curtis Institute ofMusic, where she studied with Robert McDonald.
Cann served as a collaborative staff pianist at the Curtis Institute of Music for several years. She joined the faculty in 2020 as the inaugural Eleanor Sokoloff Chair in Piano Studies.
Sunday, January 30 at 1:30PM • Armstrong Concert Hall
Join us on the Sunday of each World of the Piano performance at 1:30PM in Armstrong Concert Hall for a Pre-Concert Talk! Learn about the artist’s program from Shenandoah Conservatory faculty and special guests.
Monday, January 31 from 10AM to Noon • Armstrong Concert Hall
Observe the guest artists as they work with Shenandoah Conservatory piano students. Masterclasses are typically held on the Monday following each World of the Piano performance from 10AM to noon in Armstrong Concert Hall. Limited seating is open to the public for quiet observation. Please arrive by 9:45AM.
Accommodations for disabilities may be arranged by contacting the Box Office at least three days prior to the performance.
Photos by Michael Zirkle and Jiyang Chen