Kimberly Cann

Super-Short Bio:

Kimberly Cann is a concert pianist, educator, and social advocate.  She currently resides in WNC and has served as board member of the Asheville Symphony Orchestra, community advisory board member of local NPR station WCQS, and is Past President of the Asheville Area Piano Forum (2012-2014, 2017-2019).  She enjoys a variety of professional activities, including teaching, directing, collaborating & concertizing, and happily resides amid the Blue Ridge Mountains with her husband & two toddlers, Bella & Magnus.

Comprehensive Bio:

West Indian-American Kimberly Cann began formal piano studies at age 6, when her family moved from Bermuda to Fletcher, NC.  At age 12, she performed her first solo recital. When the family moved to FL the following year, she performed her first concerto (Beethoven's “Emperor”) with orchestra. By the age of 18, she had performed as soloist with five orchestras, including the Florida Orchestra, and was soon to win her first national piano competition.

Her educational forays include study at the Van Cliburn Institute in Fort Worth, TX, the Brevard Music Festival, and a Masters Degree from the Eastman School of Music in NY in 2006.  Her teachers have included Kathryn Hilliard, John Crawley, Rita Fandrich, Gary Wolf, Marilyn Neeley, and Barry Snyder.  Appearances both nationally and abroad have been met with critical acclaim; her playing has been described as “striking, tempestuous…” and “exceedingly colorful” (The Royal Gazette), and her outreach programs and masterclasses were praised as “fantastic.” She has been featured on several national and international media programs and has had the pleasure of working with many esteemed artists through the years, including Sergei Babayan and Christopher O'Reilly.

She enjoys teaching as much as she does performing and has taught well over 300 students, many of whom have gone on to win competitions and receive college scholarships. In 2006, she accepted the positions of visiting Professor of Music and Artist-in-Residence at Northern Caribbean University (Jamaica). Her students excelled and received national awards for their work. In 2008, she returned to the states and married double bassist Aaron Brown. Now living in WNC, she teaches privately and performs occasionally with her husband, sister/concert pianist Michelle Cann, and others.  She is the Past President of the Asheville Area Piano Forum, a non-profit organization committed to music education & outreach, and she has also served on the Board of Directors of the Asheville Symphony Orchestra and the Community Advisory Board of NPR station WCQS.

With a number of these and other organizations in the Asheville community, Kimberly has been honored to work on the various stages of a revolutionary set of social advocacy programs which use quality music education to help create the leaders of the next generation.  These donation-based programs are designed to be free of charge and geared towards those kids whose families could not otherwise afford music education.  In the Fall of 2011, the AAPF sponsored the start of Kimberly's "Keys for Kidz," a program providing children with their first direct exposure to the world of music and the fine arts in a piano-ensemble environment. It is inspired in part by the Venezuelan model for positive social and economic change, commonly known as El Sistema-- a network or "system" of youth orchestras, choirs, and other ensembles whose primary purpose is to lift up and encourage youth within a caring artistic community.  If you are interested in learning more about the wonderful things happening for the next generation of musicians in WNC and assisting in that great cause, please write to

Excerpts from Prokofiev Concerto No. 3, with the Tampa Bay Symphony Orchestra