Join the Fox e-Club
Arnold Irchai was born into a musical family. His father worked at the Kirov Opera and Ballet Theater as a violinist for more than forty years. His mother was a prominent piano teacher. Dr. Irchai began studying bassoon at the Leningrad Music School for Gifted Children and continued his studies at the State Leningrad Conservatory, USSR. At the Conservatory he received his masters and doctoral degrees.Throughout his career, he has gained extensive performance and teaching experience. From 1974 to1990, he was principal bassoonist of the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra under such world-renowned conductors as Kirrill Kondrashin and Dmitry Kitaenko. Dr. Irchai taught bassoon at the Gnessins Music Pedagogical Institute in Moscow, Russia. Among his awards are the first prizes in the All-Russia Music Competition for Woodwind Quintets and the Distinguished Artist of the Russian Federation Award. He has toured Europe, Asia and the Americas with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra and other world-class orchestras.
As a soloist and chamber musician, Dr. Irchai has performed recitals throughout the United States and the world for many years. Recent solo performances include appearances at Lincoln Center, NY; Kennedy Center, DC; the Lyceum, Alexandria, VA; the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theater, Rockville, MD; Strathmore Hall, MD; Lyceum of Arts, St. Petersburg, Russia; Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, Italy; and other venues. Dr. Irchai’s performances have been widely reviewed and featured in local, national, and international mass media.
His performances elicited admiring comments that “Irchai…was impressive not only for flexibility of his performance which audiences have come to expect, but also for his tone quality – sweet but not cloying, with an even focused vibrato in the lyrical passages and deep tones that resonated with warmth” and “bassoon at its best” in the Washington Post. Mount Vernon Gazette rightly praised Irchai as “a master of his instrument” having “singing tone and superb technique."
Until recently, Dr. Irchai was a member of the faculty at both the Washington Conservatory of Music in Washington, DC, and Columbia Union College in Takoma Park, MD. He was also the Principal Bassoon of the National Philharmonic, Washington, DC, the Principal Bassoon of Arlington Symphony, Arlington, VA, and Prince William Symphony, Manassas, VA.
Currently, Dr. Irchai is Associate Professor of Bassoon at the University of Florida, School of Music, and the Principal Bassoon of the Ocala Symphony Orchestra, and the Gainesville Chamber Orchestra. He is also a faculty member of the Summit Music Festival, Manhattanville College, Purchase, NY, International Academy of Music, Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, Italy, and St. Petersburg, Russia, as well as of the Burgos International Music Festival, Spain, and member of DT Duo. Dr. Irchai’s arrangements are published by TrevCo Music.