PianoMusic Theory

About Irene

Irene Kim teaches Piano to students of all ages. Her depth and breadth of understanding and can-do-it attitude is inspiring to all her students. Irene’s professional training has been centered at the Peabody Conservatory, where she recently received her Doctorate in Musical Arts. She was awarded the Albert and Rosa Silverman Memorial Scholarship, the Lillian Gutman Memorial Piano Prize, and Clara Ascherfeld Award by the Conservatory for her musical endeavors during her studies there. Her mentors and teachers, Marian Hahn and Boris Slutsky, have been infinitely inspiring in the impartation of their passion for the art of musicianship.

Irene is an avid believer that the arts are a manifestation of humanity and its creativity and aspires to let music travel to where its resounding compassion is much needed. 

In the course of her musical erudition, she also has had the honor to work with and receive precious insight from various distinguished musicians, including Leon Fleisher, Anton Kuerti, Robert McDonald, Ani Kavafian, Alexander Toradze, and Robert Van Sice amongst others.

Q&A with Irene

Which musician would you like to play with?

Anyone and everyone who has rhythm and soul, including Quatour Ébène, Isaac et Nora, and the Zurich Chamber Orchestra.

Which musician has influenced you the most?

All of my teachers and so many of my colleagues inspire me each and every time I practice, teach, and perform.

What can you teach me better on your instrument than any other teacher?

Efficient problem-solving, curiosity, and thoughtful self-discipline are at the core of my teaching.

How did you learn to play your instrument?

I figured out at the ripe old age of 2.5 years old that my mother would spend EVEN MORE time with me if I asked her to teach me piano, so I did.

What equipment do you play on today?

Steinway Model B Grand

Which personal trait helped you the most while practicing?

Patience and curiosity.

What does your instrument have that others don't?

A well-maintained Steinway Model B provides infinite possibilities and world-class clarity and range in sound production and responsiveness.

How do you handle children?

I approach all of my students with respect and empathy; for the younger ones, I use a firm hand when needed with a healthy dose of silliness.

What has been your greatest experience as a musician so far?

Performing one of my most favorite piano concertos with 50 of my best colleagues onstage, without a conductor.

What was the biggest stage you played on?

Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles; The Kennedy Center in DC

Which record would you take with you to the desert island?

None. I would take scores of Mahler and Brahms symphonies instead.

Besides music, what else is important in your life?

Loving fully, living fully, communicating fully, and practicing awareness in all corners and spaces of my life.

Music style(s)

Western Classical and Contemporary Art Music, often informed by jazz, rock, and non-Western musical principles

Level(s) Comfortable Teaching

I am happy to guide anyone and everyone at any point in their musical journey, whether it's the very beginning or the upper echelons of musical transcendence.

What languages can you teach in?


What's your age?



Bands, Projects, Notable Performances, Collaborations

LAPhil, brightfeather, Street Symphony, Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, Delirium Musicum, Wicked Music People (Malaysia), Ensemble della Piattellina (Italy)

Other Music-related work / goals

Solo and chamber music performances in US, Europe, and Asia


Top Prizes: Los Angeles International Liszt Competition Korean Concert Society, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Prize Garrison-Liszt International Young Pianist Competition Russell C. Wonderlic Memorial Competition Yale Gordon Concerto Competition Carmel Music Society Competition Awards: Clara Ascherfield Award in Accompanying awarded by the Peabody Conservatory Lillian Gutman Memorial Piano Prize awarded by the Peabody Conservatory Zephyr Chamber Music Festival Scholarship Peabody Career Development Grant Banff Center for the Arts Scholarship

Personal Interests

Animals, authentic relating, dancing, cooking, extreme hiking, water sports, piano tech, languages

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