Irina Khovanskaya was born to a musician’s family in Russia’s Moscow Region on September 9, 1972. She began piano lessons at age 4 with Anna Artobolevskaya and gave her first recital at age 6 in Kiev, Ukraine.
In 1979, Khovanskaya entered the Central Special Music School of the Moscow Conservatory, where she studied with Anna Artobolevskaya and Alexander Mndoyantz. In 1980, Khovanskaya played a concert at The Fall Festival in Leningrad. She traveled to the city of Volgograd in 1981 to play Haydn’s Piano Concerto in D Major with the Volgograd Symphony Orchestra. In 1982, she played a concert for the Russian Space Center in the Moscow Region. While studying at the Moscow Central Special Music School, she gave numerous concerts. In 1987, Khovanskaya was invited to play Arensky’s Fantasia on the Theme of Ryabinin for piano and orchestra with the Russian Folk Symphony Orchestra under Nicolay Nekrasov on the USSR TV.
Khovanskaya entered the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory in 1990, where her teacher was a famous Russian pianist Professor Victor Merzhanov. She gave numerous recitals in Moscow, Tambov, Vladimir, Novgorod and many other cities in Russia. In 1992, she played Weber’s Konzertstück with the Moscow Symphony Orchestra under Sergey Skripka. She also played abroad: in Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and Poland.
In 1993, Khovanskaya received a Special Jury Prize in the first Rachmaninov International Piano Competition in Moscow. During the competition, a recording of her performance was made by All-Russian Radio. She also participated in the 1993 ARD International Piano Competition in Munich and in the 1995 Queen Elisabeth International Piano Competition in Brussels. In 1999, she won First Prize in the Texas Steinway Society Piano Competition in Dallas. She took part in International Piano Master Classes with Professor Rudolf Buchbinder in Zurich (1996 and 1997). She has recorded in Russia, made a CD in Poland and performed on NBC in the USA. From 1996 to 1998, Khovanskaya was a member of “Da camera e da chiesa” Moscow chamber ensemble under Victor Felitziant. This ensemble toured extensively in Russia and abroad.
Khovanskaya graduated from the Moscow State Conservatory in 1996 with a Diploma of Honors and received her Doctoral Degree from Moscow State Conservatory in 1998, where she continued her studies with Professor Victor Merzhanov.
In 1998, Irina Khovanskaya moved to San Antonio, TX (USA), where she taught at University of the Incarnate Word and played recitals. Currently resides in Toronto, Ontario (Canada).