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The Musical Heart of Michelle Cann

Pianist Michelle Cann

Pianist Michelle Cann's musical evolution started early.

Her father, the music teacher at the local parochial elementary school, made sure that she had ample access to experiment from a young age.

At seven years old, Cann began piano lessons in earnest, hoping to become as successful with the instrument as her older sister, who had been taking lessons for years.

By the time she was 15, Cann was performing and winning competitions regularly, so when her dad asked her the simple question, “do you really want to do this?” she was somewhat baffled.

Until then, she had taken her musical life for granted, and rebelled against rehearsing like a typical teenager. Given the chance to reflect, Cann realized she truly couldn’t live without music, and that if she was going to pursue it professionally, she would have to get serious and do things right.

This commitment to excellence eventually saw her getting accepted to the Curtis Institute of Music. There, she learned to delve into the layers of meaning buried within the pieces she played, and subsequently articulate her own unique voice during performances.

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