Curtis Studio and Pianist Michelle Cann’s New Album, “Revival”
Released on the Curtis Institute’s own record label, Curtis Studio, Cann honors the works of female Black composers, Florence Price, and Margaret Bonds
Titled “Revival, Music of Price & Bonds,” this album sees pianist and Curtis alum Michelle Cann performing the music of Florence Price and Margaret Bonds, whose works were neglected in their lifetimes or abandoned after their deaths.
Released on Curtis Studio, this album is Cann’s debut solo piano recording. Curtis Studio is the Curtis Institute of Music’s label for new and traditional works, and aims to make top classical music recordings easily accessible through modern streaming services.
The first track is Price’s award-winning Piano Sonata in E minor, followed by three of her Fantasie Nègre — nos. 1, 2, and 4. Bonds’ Spiritual Suite for piano rounds out the album.
Honoring the soundworld and experiences of Black America, Cann’s performance of these works was inspired by the composer’s stories, and reflect their lives which were affected by misogyny and racism.
Beginning composition from a young age, Florence Price attended the New England Conservatory of Music. Her works were often rejected by orchestras and some publishing houses, and it was not until 2009, after the discovery of nearly 300 of her manuscripts, that her music finally saw a renaissance.
A graduate of Northwestern University and The Juilliard School, Margaret Bonds was a close friend and student of Price. She later became the first Black musician to perform with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and composed over 200 works, 75 of which survive.
“It humbles you in a certain way because you realize that there are a lot of stories that are yet to be told, that should be told,” Cann said. “Loving both of their music so much, it’s really an important mission for me to program and to share their music with as many people as I can, so that they have a voice in our time.”
To purchase and listen to the album, click here. Cann performing Price’s Piano Sonata in E minor can be viewed below.
Making her orchestral debut at age 14, Michelle Cann has since performed solo with the Atlanta and Cincinnati Symphony orchestras, Cleveland Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony, and Philadelphia Orchestra.
She is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Curtis Institute of Music, where she serves on the piano faculty as the inaugural chair of piano studies. Her accolades include the 2022 Sphinx Medal of Excellence and the 2022 Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award.
Additionally, Cann has served on the juries of the Cleveland International Piano Competition and at the Music Academy of the West, plus appeared as a co-host and collaborative pianist with NPR’s “From The Top.”
Distributed by artist services company Platoon, Curtis Studio will continue to feature performances by Curtis alumni, faculty, and students, with its releases available digitally. Its inaugural album release was Scheherazade, in late 2022.
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