meet the artistic director

Mark Irchai (b. 1996), is an American concert pianist and conductor. His concertizing has taken him across the United States and Europe, where he has become known for his diverse musical programming and multi-colored sound. He’s already received numerous awards, including 1st prizes at the XIV International Orfeo Music Competition, the George Mason University Concerto Competition, and the Golden Classical Awards International Music Competition. Most recently, he was awarded the Newton Swift Award in Collaborative Piano by the Mannes School of Music.

As a pianist, Mark regularly concertizes as soloist with ensembles such as the Piedmont Symphony Orchestra, the Mason Symphony Orchestra, and others. He also frequently gives independently organized recitals as part of his Mark Irchai presents concert series. Performance venues have included Carnegie Hall, NYC, the Lyceum in Alexandria, VA, the Embassy of Turkey to the United States in Washington, DC, the Musikschule Sterzing, Italy, two appearances at DOROT for their inaugural concert series for survivors of the Holocaust, and many others. Additionally, Mark has been presented on numerous concert series, such as the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic’s Lyceum Concerts, the Ocala Symphony Orchestra’s SoundArt series, and George Mason University’s Grand Piano Celebration. As a pianist, Mark has collaborated with prominent artists such as John Aler, Marlisa Woods, Vasilisa Berzhanskaya, Jamie Reimer, and Janet Hopkins.

As a conductor, Mark frequently collaborates with orchestral and choral musicians of the highest caliber as performers in the Mark Irchai presents concert series. Most recently, he has performed alongside musicians from the National Philharmonic, the National Symphony, the US Army Orchestra, the US Army Chorus, the Singing Sergeants, the Peabody Institute, and other high-profile institutions of music. He has also worked as an assistant conductor for a number of ensembles, including the George Mason University Singers, Chorale, and Mason Opera. His most recent posting with the Mason Symphony Orchestra led him to a performance with soloist Eddie Adams, which was later featured on CBS News and Reuters. Mark’s conducting equally excels both on the podium, and from the keyboard.

Mark holds a BM in piano performance from George Mason University, where he studied piano and chamber music with Anna Balakerskaia and orchestral, choral, and band conducting with Dennis Layendecker, Stan Engebretson, Mark Camphouse, and Anthony Maiello. He has also studied piano at the International Orfeo Music Festival with Anna Balakerskaia, and at the Summit Music Festival with Efrem Briskin. Additionally, he studied orchestral conducting at the International Academy of Advanced Conducting after Ilya Musin with Oleg Proskurnya and Scott Woodard. He has appeared in masterclasses with artists such as George Li, Pavel Nersessian, Vadim Monastyrski, Awadagin Pratt, Faina Lushtak, Leon Schelhase, Claire Huangci, and, most recently, Richard Goode. Most recently, he obtained an MM in Piano Performance from the Mannes School of Music, studying under the direction of Simone Dinnerstein.

Mark is currently on faculty at the Levine School of Music in Washington DC, and teaches piano lessons both virtually and in-person from home in Alexandria, VA.

Photo credit: Stan Engebretson