Bio

Born In Bulgaria, Ms. Chirkova has been playing the cello since the age of five. She holds Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in cello performance from The Boston Conservatory.

During her years of cello study, Irina participated in the following competitions: 1997 - second prize at the Massachusetts American String Teachers’ Association Solo Competition; 1998 - a finalist at the National ASTA competition; 2001 - Winner of The Boston Conservatory Concerto Competition; 2001 - Mr. Aldo Parisot awarded her with a Fellowship for Norfolk Chamber Music Festival at Yale Summer School; 2001 - Virtu Foundation granted her “Metzler” Instrument Scholarship.

Irina is a classical, rock, pop and session cellist, as well as a cello teacher.

Some of her latest appearances in the world of the pop music consist of: the Billboard Awards (2016), with Celine Dion; 58th Grammy Awards (2016), tribute to B.B.King; American Music Awards (2015) with Celine Dion; Latin Grammys (2015) with Natalia Lafourtado; 57th Grammy Awards (2015) with Pharrell Williams, Hans Zimmer, Lang Lang; Sam Smith; John Legend; Adam Levine and Gwen Stefani; Ariana Grande; "The Beatles" Grammy Salute Concert, (2014), performance with Katy Perry and Annie Lennox (Eurythmics); 49th Academy Country Music Awards (2014), Hunter Hayes; 65th Primetime Emmy Awards (2013), live solo performer during the "In Memory" segment, also in a String Quartet setting with Carrie Underwood's live performance at the same show; 55th Grammy Awards (2013), with Carrie Underwood; a features cellist at Celine Dion's Show, Las Vegas (2013-2015); Latin Grammy Person Of The Year, performance for Natalie Cole and Nelly Furtado; Soul Train Awards (2012) with John Legend; Clint Holmes Show (2012); American Idol with guest artist Lana Del Rey (2012); Latin Grammy Awards for Marco Antonio Solis (2011); BET Awards, performing for P.Diddy; Letterman's "The Late Show" with Kanye West. Irina had also performed at political conferences for Bill Clinton and Mitt Romney.

As a classical cellist Irina has performed for Yo-Yo Ma, Bernard Greenhouse and Aldo Parisot in Boston, MA; in Gstaad, Switzerland, Irina shared the stage with the world known pianist Lang-Lang (2012); Concerto Soloist in Slovakia (2012); Concerto Soloist with Orchestra X, Houston TX; Concerto Soloist with The Boston Conservatory Orchestra, MA.

As a rock cellist, Irina toured with Sully Erna ('Godsmack'), in his new band Avalon, US, (2012); as well as with her cello rock band 'Cellicentric', performing at the Kohler Music Festival, Wisconsin (2013).

Irina loves performing as an electric "stand up" cellist.  Irina is very excited to be working with the following electric string quartets:  Bella Electric Strings, SAGA, Electric Angels and Elan Artists.  In the past she has been a member of the electric string groups CCBONNES and MystiQuintet, with whom she toured internationally (Dubai, Qatar, Greece), as well as within the US.   

Irina is an active session cellist in Los Angeles. Some of her latest recordings are for: CBS TV Show "The Good Wife", Firefly Studios (2014); NBC, TV Series "Revolution" in Warner Brothers and Capitol Records (2013); East West Studios (2013); Bell Sound studio (2013); The Village (2013); WaveCrest (recordings for Toby Chu), (2013); Emoto Studios (2013); Palladia PBS, 'Avalon' (2012); KOCH records.

Irina's latest tours: TriAngo, a tango piano quartet, Slovakia (2012); Ivan Amodei's 'Intimate Illusions' magic show, tours in San Francisco, Chicago and Boston (2013).

Presently, Irina is a cello faculty member at Santa Monica Academy of Music, CA. During her teaching years, Irina has been a teaching assistant to Rhonda Rider at Wellesley College (2004-2005), MA; and a String Department Coordinator at the Brookline Music School (2002-2009), MA.

She is a member of:
Celine Dion's Orchestra, Las Vegas, Caesar's Palace, 2011-2017
Cellicentric
Saga Strings
Electric Angels
Bella Electric Strings
Sketchy Black Dog Jazz Ensemble (with Misha Piatigorsky), Los Angeles
Sully Erna (Godsmack) Solo Band

 

Resume


Education__________________________________________________________________________________
Master of Music in Cello Performance 2000-2002
The Boston Conservatory
Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance 1997-2000
The Boston Conservatory
Sofia Music Academy, Bulgaria 1995-1997
Sofia Music School, Bulgaria 1981-1995

Master Classes
Yo-Yo Ma, Bernard Greenhouse, Aldo Parisot, Timothy Eddy, Tokyo String Quartet,
Norman Fischer, Andor Toth, Stefan Popov

Orchestra /Show Experience_________________________________________________________________
49th Academy Country Music Awards, appearance with Hunter Hayes, 2014
Grammy Salute Concert/The Beatles, performances with Katy Perry and Annie Lennox, 2014
Primetime Emmy Awards, solo appearance at "In Memoriam", 2013
Primetime Grammy Awards, performing for Carrie Underwood, Los Angeles, CA 2013
Featured cellist, Celine Dion’s Show, Las Vegas, NV 2011-2014
Latin Grammy Person-Of-The-Year Show, Caetano Veloso, Natalie Cole, 2012
and Nelly Furtado
SoulTrain Awards, John Legend, Las Vegas, NV 2012
Clint Holmes Show, Las Vegas, NV 2012
American Idol, guest artist Lana Del Rey, Los Angeles, CA 2012
Latin Grammy Awards, Performing for Marco Antonio Solis, Las Vegas, NV 2011
Electric String Trio CCbonnes, tours to Greece, Dubai, Qatar 2002-2009
Member of MystiQuintet ensemble 2002-2008
String section-performer with Kanye West on 2006
David Letterman’s “The Late Show”
MTV “Jingle Ball” live-show concert 2005
Concerto Soloist with Orchestra X, Houston, TX 2004
Principal, New Bedford Symphony Orchestra 2002-2003
Soloist & Principal of The Boston Conservatory Orchestra 1999-2002
Norfolk Chamber Music Festival at Yale Summer School 2001
The Boston Conservatory Honors String Quartet 1998-2001
Brandeis Chamber Music Festival 1998
Civic Symphony Orchestra of Boston 1997
Sofia International Orchestra 1996“P.Vladigerov” Chamber Orchestra 1996
Greek International Chamber Orchestra 1996

Concerts and Awards_________________________________________________________________________
Power of Love Gala, performance with Gloria Estefan, Las Vegas 2014
Cellicentric Cello Trio, Las Vegas, NV 2013
Sketchy Black Dog, with Misha Piatigorsky, various concerts, CA 2012-2013
Cellicentric Cello Trio, Kohler Foundation Distinguished Guest Series, Kohler, WI 2012
Performance with Lang Lang, Gstaad, Switzerland 2012
Concerto Soloist with Slovak State Philharmonic, Kosice, Slovakia 20Sonata Duo presentation at Boston Symphony's Higginson Hall, MA 2008
String Trio performance for Bill Clinton at Waldorf Astoria, NY NY 2007
String Trio performer, Fripp Island, South Carolina 2007-2008
"MystiQuintet" concerts, West Philadelphia Blues Fest, PA 2006-2007
String section leader, Awards Ceremony for Meryl Streep, 2006
at Coolidge Corner Theater, Brookline, MA
Soloist for Gov. Mitt Romney, MA Conferences 2004-2005
Aldo Parisot’s Fellowship Recipient, Norfolk Chamber Festival, CT 2001
Virtu Foundation Instrument Scholarship -- “Metzler” cello 2001-2008
Winner, The Boston Conservatory Concerto Competition, MA 2001
Semifinalist, National American String Teachers’ Assc. Competition, MI 1998
Second prize, Massachusetts ASTA Solo Competition 1997
Special Prize, “The Music & the Earth” Int’l. Comp. (Chamber section), Bulgaria 1996
Special Prize, “The Music & the Earth” Int’l. Comp. (Solo section), Bulgaria 1994
Third prize, “Young Music Talents” Competition, Bulgaria 1994
Third prize, National Competition “Svetoslav Obretenov”, Bulgaria 1994
First prize, “Svetoslav Obretenov” Competition, Bulgaria 1988

Recordings TV Appearances___________________________________________________________________
"The Good Wife" TV show, cello lines, 2014
DreamWorks Animation 2013
NBC, TV Series “Revolution”, sound effects/episodes 111 and 114, 2013
CBS, 55th Grammy Awards 2013
PALLADIA, PBS, Sully Erna “Avalon” tour 2013
MTV and CBS performances with Kanye West, New York and Boston 2006
“Its All About The Arts” BNN Ch. 9 TV Show, Boston, MA 2006
“KOCH” record label, various album recordings 2005
PBS-TV appearance with Tim Janice 2003
National Radio and TV in Sofia, Bulgaria 1995

Studio work________________________________________________________________________________
Firefly Studios, 2014
Capitol Records 2013
Warner Brothers 2013
East West Studios 2013
Bell Sound 2013
The Village 2013
WaveCrest 2010-2013
Emoto 2010-2012
Odds On (Las Vegas) 2012
4th Street Studios (Santa Monica) 2012

Teaching Experience_________________________________________________________________________
Cello Faculty, Santa Monica Academy of Music, Santa Monica, CA 2011-present
Cello Faculty, Cornerstone Conservatory, Santa Monica, CA 2009-2011
Cello Faculty, Opus Music of South Bay, Torrance, CA 2009-2010
Cello Faculty, The Neighborhood Music School, Los Angeles, CA 2010
String Department Coordinator and Cello Faculty, Brookline Music School, MA 2002-2009
Co-Founder, First Annual Cello Competition
Coach-Conductor, “Strings of Summer” program
Teaching Assistant, Wellesley College, MA 2001-2005
Faculty-Substitute, Boston University, MA 2004-2005
Judge at the Concerto Competition, Longy School of Music 2002
Cello Instructor, Franklin High School, MA 2002-2003
Teaching Assistant to the Private Studio of Andrew Mark, Boston, MA 1997-2002
Cello Faculty, Winnie Ip Music School Boston, MA 2000-2001
Cello Faculty, Manchester Community Music School, NH 1998-1999