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John Irrera

John Irrera
2023 Alumni Enterprise Awardee

Praised by the Santa Barbara Daily Sound for his “moving” and “hypnotic” performances and Fanfare magazine for his “impeccable precision”, violinist John Irrera is flourishing as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral musician, and pedagogue. Irrera’s Carnegie Hall debut was lauded as a “riveting and dynamic performance’ by the New York Concert Review. His concerto debut was with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra performing the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto under the baton of Maestro Jeff Tyzik.  Irrera has gone on to be heard in concert halls such as Lincoln Center, a return to Carnegie Hall, the Eastman Theatre,  Spivey Hall, and across North America, Latin America and Europe.

As a chamber musician, he has co-founded, with his brother Joseph, the Irrera Brothers Duo, which has concertized around the globe.  The duo premiered “Drawn Onward- Fantasy for Violin and Piano” by composer Robert Morris in November of 2014. Since then the duo released Morris’ complete works for violin and piano, on the Centaur label, having received positive reviews, with Fanfare Magazine stating “The Irrera’s are impressive. John negotiates an often demanding, disjunct violin part with subtle finesse, without sacrificing a sense of musical line.”

As an active orchestral musician, Irrera has performed with the New World Symphony under conductors Michael Tilson Thomas and Thomas Adès, with the Grammy-nominated Metropolis Ensemble under the baton of composer Tan Dun and with the Charleston Symphony. Additional collaborations have included appearances with Peter Oundjian, Larry Rachleff, Nicholas McGegan, and Daniel Hege.  Currently, he regularly performs in principal positions, with the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra.

He received his Bachelor’s degree with High Distinction from the Eastman School of Music in 2007, where he was awarded the Howard Hanson Scholarship, as well as the coveted Performer’s Certificate. He continued at Eastman where he completed his Master’s degree in 2009 as the recipient of the Christakis S. and Agnes C. Modinos Graduate Merit Scholarship, as well as his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in 2014. HIs long time teacher and mentor during all three of his Eastman degrees was the late Zvi Zeitlin and Federico Agostini. Additionally John has had supplementary studies with violinists Ilya Kaler, Lewis Kaplan, Sergiu Schwartz, Juliana Athayde, Lynn Blakeslee, and Almita Vamos.

Dedicated to performing and teaching, He has previously taught at the University of Rochester and the Eastman School of Music, being selectively chosen as the Teaching Assistant for Professor Zeitlin, a position he continued to hold with Federico Agostini. Additionally, he has served as a guest teaching artist presenting performances, masterclasses, presentations, and lectures at Virginia Tech, Kennesaw State University, Clayton State University, Lee University, Bridgewater College and the Atlanta Music Project, as well as presenting at the 2015 MTNA National Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Former students have been accepted to continue their studies at major institutions, including The Eastman School of Music. Currently he resides in Blacksburg, VA, is Assistant Professor of Violin at Virginia Tech, and is on the artist roster of Parker Artists Management Group.