Curtis Institute appoints Michelle Cann as chair of piano studies, position named in honor of Eleanor Sokoloff

Posted on: November 19, 2020

“The Curtis Institute of Music has created a position in honor of Eleanor Sokoloff, the legendary piano professor who taught at the school for more than eight decades, and the school has named Philadelphia pianist Michelle Cann to fill the spot,” writes Peter Dobrin in Tuesday’s (11/17) Philadelphia Inquirer. “The 2013 Curtis graduate takes up the inaugural Eleanor Sokoloff chair in piano studies with duties she expects to begin in the new year. Sokoloff died in July at age 106. Cann will teach private lessons as well as coach chamber music, and said Tuesday that she hopes her role will be even more expansive…. She envisions making mentorship connections between Curtis students and young musicians in the city [and] hopes to broaden the career-soloist mind-set with which some students enter Curtis…. Cann, 33, has performed with the Florida Orchestra and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, and in early 2021 is slated as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra in … Florence Price’s Concerto in One Movement…. Eleanor Sokoloff … frequently spoke about the hurdles facing female pianists…. The chair newly named in her honor is intended to be held … ‘only by an exceptionally gifted and forward-thinking female pianist,’ according to Curtis’ announcement.”