Irena Marie Rieband was born in Nottingham UK. Her teachers included Derek Taylor at the Royal Academy of Music from the age of 14, and later on Julian Baker, as well as Fergus McWilliam, Theo Wiemes, Frøydis Ree Wekre and Roger Rocco abroad. At the age of 16 Irena gained a scholarship to the Purcell School, performing as soloist, orchestra and chamber musician at venues such as Yehudi Menuhin School, London’s South Bank, the National Portrait Gallery and Moscow Conservatorium. She was a performance scholar at Royal Holloway University of London and graduated in Music and German with First Class Honours. After working as university lecturer, assistant orchestra manager and a freelance musician in Germany, she moved to Poland to link with her Polish family roots, and completed a masters degree in 2008 at the Academy of Music in Gdansk. Her dissertation and articles on the prevention of performance-related ill-health have been published in The Hornplayer magazine in England and The Horn Call in the United States.
She has taught horn and given workshops for brass players at the Royal Northern College of Music, the Warsaw Horn Workshops and the Summer Institute of the Arts in Hungary. She is a member of the teaching faculty at MasterWorks Festival in the United States. Irena has been principal horn of the Filharmonia Sudecka in Poland since 2007, but recently married and moved back to the UK to live in Canterbury with her husband. She works as a freelance musician in the area and performs chamber music concerts with her horn trio. Irena enjoys speaking Polish and German, swimming, skiing and ballroom dancing.