Mark Irchai is a solo concert pianist, chamber musician, and conductor. He was born in Washington, DC, and moved at a young age to Gainesville, FL. From there, his career has brought him to several nations, including Spain, Italy, and Russia, as well as much of the United States. His career has also garnered him numerous awards, including the Ashkenazy Prize at the II Future Stars International Piano Competition, 1st prize at the XIV International Orfeo Music Competition, 1st prize at the IMKA International Internet Music Competition, and the Padarewski Gold Medal. Mark’s 2018 concert season includes performances with Emma McDermott, Kyle Melton, Marlisa Woods, Andrew Miller, and Kathryn Hearden, along with solo pianist and conductor engagements.
He has performed with numerous ensembles as featured soloist, including the Piedmont Symphony Orchestra, the Mason Symphony Orchestra, and the Mason Wind Symphony. Additionally, he has appeared as both conductor and soloist with his own orchestra. He has also received sponsorship for concerts from other major groups, including the Ocala Symphony Orchestra and the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic. Performance venues have included the Lyceum, Alexandria, VA, the Musikschule Sterzing, Italy, the Thomas Center, Gainesville, FL, West Virginia State University, Florida State University, the University of Florida, and the Embassy of Turkey to the United States in Washington, DC.
Mark has joined many artists on the concert stage, including John Aler, Marlisa Woods, Vasilisa Berzhanskaya, Jamie Reimer, Janet Hopkins, and Eric Tucker. He also maintains a constant performance schedule in the “Father and Son” duo with his father, Dr. Arnold Irchai, who is the former principal bassoonist of the Moscow Philharmonic. Together, they perform chamber music for bassoon and piano that includes Isaac Mikhnovsky’s Sonata for Bassoon and Piano (1978), written for and premiered by Dr. Arnold Irchai.
Mark currently holds a position at George Mason University as the accompanist for the studio of Grammy-winning tenor John Aler, as well as Junior Teaching Artist at Potomac Arts Academy. He previously served as Assistant Conductor at George Mason to the University Singers and University Chorale. He completed his BM in Piano Performance summa cum laude at George Mason University in Fall 2017, studying piano and chamber music with Anna Balakerskaia, and conducting with Stan Engebretson, Dennis Layendecker, Lisa Billingham, Anthony Maiello, and Mark Camphouse. He has also pursued studies of conducting at the International Academy of Advanced Conducting after Ilya Musin under Oleg Proskurnya and Scott Woodard. Prior to his time at George Mason, he studied piano with Ruth Lewis and Read Gainsford. He has appeared in masterclasses under the direction of George Li, Faina Lushtak, Awadagin Pratt, Leon Schelhase, and Claire Huangci. He has also studied with Prof. Mikhail Gantvarg, violinist and former rector of the St. Petersburg Conservatory.