Irina Tikhonova began playing the cello at the age of six. Her mother, Lydia, loved to sing and selected the instrument for Irina originally because the range of the cello is essentially the same as the range of the singing voice. The choice was obviously a good one as Irina went on to study at the Tchaikovsky Music Conservatory under Vladimir Panteleev. She graduated with her Bachelor of Music degree from the Music College in Kiev, USSR in 1981 and a Master of Music degree from the State Conservatory of Music in Kiev, USSR in 1986. Before coming to this country, Irina performed with the Harmony Philharmonic Ensemble of Soloists in Kiev, the Renaissance Chamber Orchestra, and was the assistant principal cellist in the State Symphony Orchestra. Since immigrating to the United States from the Ukraine in 1991, she has been Principal Cellist of the Saginaw Bay Symphony, the Saginaw Bay Symphony, the Dearborn Symphony Orchestra, and the Flint Symphony Orchestra. Irina also plays on occasion with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and has a private cello studio in Royal Oak, Michigan. She loves bicycling.