Curium: the 96th element in the periodic table. Discovered in the Bay Area in 1944 and named after the pioneering female scientist, Marie Curie, the element is a symbol of the innovations of female minds, past and present.
Founded in the summer of 2017, the women of Curium piano trio have gained reputations as performers that radiate dynamism and presence. Specializing in performing the music of female composers, they are committed to bringing creative and diverse musical programming to their audiences. The Curium trio highlights the works of women composers and performers alongside traditional piano trio repertoire, and have brought together a community of people with their representation of diversity and women.
Curium was chosen as the 2017 winners of the Barbara Fritz Chamber Music Award.
Curium is a fiscally sponsored affiliate of Intermusic SF
Rachel Kim enjoys a prolific career as a concert pianist, educator, and mentor in the Bay Area.
She was born in Seoul, South Korea and began learning music theory and improvisation with her mother, a jazz and rock pianist based in Seoul. She began studying piano in the United States with Helen Smith Tarchalski at the age of 11. During this time, she gained a reputation as a standout performer and consistently won first and second prizes in the annual solo and piano ensemble competitions held by Maryland State Music Teachers Association. Her achievements earned her the Distinguished Music Achievement Award by the Maryland State Music Teachers Association and the Music Teachers National Association.
Rachel holds a Bachelor of Music degree with honors from the Catholic University of America, where she studied with Marilyn Neeley and Jose Ramos Santana, and a Master of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she continues her studies with Paul Hersh. She has performed in various summer festivals around the US and in Europe, including Aspen, Brevard, and the Amalfi Coast Music Festival in Italy, and has performed in the master classes of world-class musicians including Leon Fleisher, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Bonnie Hampton, and Abby Simon. During her studies at SF Conservatory, she had the opportunity to collaborate and be coached by musicians such as Bonnie Hampton, Ian Swenson, Mack McCray, and Jennifer Culp. During her undergraduate studies, her dedication for bringing music to all audiences led her to join a team of founders at Talent, Education, Art and Mentoring After School Program, Inc., a summer music program that helped bring music and the arts to underserved neighborhoods in Washington, D.C.
Rachel is a versatile musician whose diverse performing and pedagogical experiences help her navigate the challenging world of classical music in today’s society. She has taught privately for over ten years, has worked as a staff accompanist at the San Francisco Conservatory, and is a member of the historic Berkeley Piano Club. Her concert engagements around the Bay Area have included Avedis Concerts at the Legion of Honor Fine Arts Museum with Alexandra Hawley and Roy Milan, Chamber Music Society of Sacramento with William Barbini, and various private house concerts throughout the city. Currently she is on faculty at the Branson School in Ross, California, where she serves as Music Director for the annual musical productions and directs the Honors Chamber Singers and Chamber Music classes.
Polish-born violinist Agnieszka Peszko has been praised for her “warm and glowing tone,” and “logical yet captivating phrasing.” (Weigang Li, Shanghai Quartet). She is the founding violinist of the San Francisco – based piano trio Curium, dedicated to performing works of women composers A prizewinner of national and regional string competitions, she has given many solo recitals throughout Europe and the United States. She has also served as a leading violinist of chamber ensembles and orchestras, performing in some of the most renowned concert halls in the USA, Europe and China.
As a laureate of various awards and competitions, she has won 2nd prizes at the Concerto Competition at Montclair State University in New Jersey and the J. Garscia National Competition in Stalowa Wola, 4th prize at the G. Ph. Telemann Competition in Poznan, 1st distinction at the G. Bacewicz Competition in Wroclaw and at the National Irena Dubiska Competition of Violin Music Interpretations in Lodz. Some of her other notable achievements include joining the Shanghai International Youth Orchestra for the concert tour in China in 2016, and being appointed concertmaster of the Cali Camerata, a conductor-less string chamber orchestra, to lead the ensemble in performance at the prestigious Weil Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall in 2013.
Agnieszka began playing the violin at the age of seven in her hometown of Warsaw. In the U.S., she had the privilege to pursue her studies under the tutelage of distinguished faculty, including Wei He, Weigang Li, and Laurie Smukler. She received her Master of Music degree in Violin Performance at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, an Artist Diploma and Performance Certificate at John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University as well as a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance and a Bachelor of Arts in Italian Studies at Bard College Conservatory of Music.
As a dedicated teacher, Agnieszka enjoys working with all her students and she takes great pride in her students’ success. In addition to her private violin studio, she is also on the violin faculty at Inspire Music and Amabile School of Music in San Francisco.
Cellist Carlyn Kessler, whose performances have been praised as "stunning" (ClevelandClassical), enjoys a multifaceted career as a performer, educator, and arts advocate. Carlyn relocated to San Francisco in 2017 from Cleveland, OH. She is a graduate of Cleveland Institute of Music, where she earned her Master of Music degree in Cello Performance and Suzuki Pedagogy and Bachelor of Music as a student of renowned performers and pedagogues Sharon Robinson and Melissa Kraut.
A passionate chamber musician, Carlyn is currently an Emerging Artist Fellow at the acclaimed Chamber Music Silicon Valley, which presents seasoned and unique contemporary ensemble works throughout the Bay Area. While at CIM, Carlyn was a member of the Advanced Piano Trio Program, through which she performed in weekly master classes for the country's preeminent chamber musicians and earned a weeklong residency with the Chamber Music Society of Detroit as a member of the NOA trio. Carlyn was a founding member of the genre-bending Cleveland Cello Quartet, which was an Ensemble-In-Residence at The Music Settlement in Cleveland, OH.
Carlyn has performed in venues ranging from Carnegie Hall to the Chautauqua Institution, as well as in Canada and England. She has participated in numerous summer music festivals including Mendocino Music Festival, Domaine Forget, Toronto Summer Music Festival, the Banff Centre, the London Master Classes, and Yellow Barn Young Artists Program, among others. Carlyn has held leadership roles in numerous orchestral settings throughout the US and abroad.
Carlyn has recently collaborated and performed with celebrated artists Martin Beaver, Pekka Kuusisto, Axel Strauss, Steven Dann, Ernest Kovacek, Michael Gurevich, and Frank Morelli. Carlyn has received several awards including the Stamford Symphony Jeniam Foundation Scholarship and Greenwich Symphony Orchestra Guild’s Dorothy Gluckmann Music Award.
An advocate of presenting classical music in nontraditional settings, she performs regularly with Classical Revolution at various San Francisco locales and, formerly a Cleveland Clinic Performing Artist, has an affinity for performing in healthcare settings. She is a regularly featured studio musician in music videos and albums of all styles and genres.
A devoted pedagogue, Carlyn maintains a private cello studio in San Francisco and serves on the faculty of the Preparatory Music Program at Holy Names University. In Ohio, Carlyn was the Adjunct Professor of Cello at The College of Wooster and Department Head of Strings at The Music Settlement, an acclaimed century-old community institution for the arts. Carlyn previously worked on the administrative staff of The Walden School, a nonprofit creative and experiential summer music school. Also an avid writer, Carlyn currently publishes articles for San Francisco Classical Voice.