Thursday, March 10, 2011

Citizen-Times: 'Pianist Kimberly Cann, 29, makes a musical mark on Asheville'

[Kimberly Cann, concert pianist and teacher, sits at an instrument at the Piano Emporium in Weaverville, near her home. "It was not my intention to be at the forefront of musical performance in Asheville," she said--and yet, that's where she finds herself. / Bill Sanders/]

Mar. 8, 2011
“ASHEVILLE — How does a young classical pianist new to Asheville find a place in this area's flourishing, some would say crowded, music scene? For 29-year-old Kimberly Cann,, who moved here two years ago, the answer might be, 'Ask not what your community can do for you, ask what you can do for your community.'

“With an impressive background that includes winning an important national competition at age 18 and a graduate degree from one of the nation's top conservatories, the Eastman School of Music, Cann has been quietly making a name for herself by using her considerable musical talents to help local organizations. 'It was not my intention to be at the forefront of musical performance in Asheville,' Cann said with a laugh. 'I wasn't sure where I wanted to make my little niche. I was careful to get to know the community.'

“She played a solo recital in Asheville as a benefit for Habitat for Humanity at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in 2009. Then she dazzled the audience last September at an Asheville Area Piano Forum benefit at Diana Wortham Theatre. She and her younger sister, Michelle, a student at the Cleveland Institute of Music and herself a rising piano star, played Rachmaninoff's famously difficult Suite No. 2 for Two Pianos to an enthusiastic crowd.”

“She wants to highlight the contributions of African-Americans to classical music. One of her concert pieces — which she'll play Sunday at a sold-out show at the Asheville Art Museum — is 'Troubled Waters' by Margaret Allison Bonds, a pianist and composer who in 1933 was the first African-American to solo with Chicago Symphony.” [Margaret Allison Bonds (1913-1972) is profiled at, which features a comprehensive Works List by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma of Lawrence University Conservatory]

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