Cleveland, OH

Cleveland Institute of Music Alumna, Michelle Cann Received Sphinx Award

Terrence Jacobs
ZU photography/Unsplash

CLEVELAND,OH - An alumnus of The Cleveland Institute of Music, pianist Michelle Cann has received the Sphinx Award, the highest honor awarded by The Sphinx, a Detroit-based social justice organization, together with a $50,000 grant.

"I'm extremely honored to receive the Sphinx Medal of Excellence , and to become part of this esteemed family of change-makers," Cann said. "I've always admired Sphinx's efforts to change the face of classical music, and I'm committed to furthering this mission, especially for young pianists of color. With this award, I hope to inspire and motivate new generations of musicians by celebrating and advancing works by great Black composers."

Ms. Cann holds a bachelor's and master's degree in piano performance from The Cleveland Institute of Music. She made her debut in orchestral at the age of fourteen. She then performed as a soloist with various ensembles, including The Cleveland Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Florida Orchestra, The North Carolina Symphony, and the New Jersey Orchestra.

During Summer 2021, Ms. Cann performing with The Philadelphia Orchestra at the Mann Center for the performing arts and an appearance with The Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra and the Jury of the Cleveland International Piano Competition.

She has won many competitions in states, nationals, and international, including the Blount Slawson Young Artists Competition, The International Russian Music Piano Competition, and The Wideman International Piano Competition. She also served as the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra's MAC Music Innovator to recognize her role as an African-American classical musician in 2019.

The Sphinx Medal of Excellence is the highest honor bestowed by the Sphinx Organization. The organization is recognizing extraordinary talents. This year's awards are given to three musicians of color who demonstrate artistic excellence, the spirit of determination, outstanding work ethic, and ongoing commitment to leadership and their communities.

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