Arnold Irchai was born in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), Russia, into a musical family. His father worked at the Kirov Opera and Ballet Theater as a violinist for over forty years. His mother was a prominent piano teacher. Dr. Irchai began studying bassoon at the Leningrad Special 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. He has performed with major symphony orchestras since his school years. Throughout his career, he has gained extensive performance and teaching experience. From 1974 to 1990, he was principal bassoonist of the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra under such world-renowned conductors as Kiril Kondrashin and Dmitry Kitaenko. Dr. Irchai taught bassoon at the Gnessin Academy of Music in Moscow, Russia. Among his awards are the first prize 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.
Dr. Irchai has been performing solo recitals as well as chamber music recitals throughout the United States and the world for many years. His recent solo performances include appearances at the Lincoln Center, NY; Kennedy Center, Washington, 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 at 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 audience 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 praises Irchai as “a master of his instrument” having “singing tone and superb technique”.
Dr.Irchai was the Principal Bassoon of National Philharmonic Orchestra and on the faculty of Washington Conservatory of Music, Washington, DC, Columbia Union College, Takoma Park, MD, and University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.
Currently, Dr. Irchai is on the faculty at the International Academy of Music, St. Petersburg, Russia, and Castlenuovo di Garfagnana, Italy, as well as at the Summit Music Festival, Manhattenville College, NY, and Burgos International Music Festival, Burgos, Spain. and the Principal Bassoon of the Ocala Symphony Orchestra, and The Gainesville Orchestra,
He is a founding member (with Dr. Tama Kott) of the DT Duo, a group dedicated to commissioning and performing contemporary music for two Bassoons. Their first CD, Duettino, was recently released and features mainly commissioned works. Dr. Irchai arrangements have been published by TrevCo Music.
Dr. Irchai has been a Fox Products Corporation Performing Artist, and, recently became a Moosmann Performing Artist-Bernd Moosmann, Germany,and also represent Miller Marketing, USA.
Dr. Irchai performs on Moosmann Bassoon 222-CL.