Zakyan was born in Gyumri. She graduated from the Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory and did her postgraduate studies at the same conservatory under the tutelage of Prof. Nelli Pirumova. Irina Zakyan has regularly performed as a soloist with the Armenian Philharmonic, Yerevan Symphonic, and National Opera Theater Orchestras. She has toured extensively in the USA, Canada, Italy, Spain, Austria, Greece, Germany, Lebanon, Russia, Poland and China, to mention a few.
Irina Zakyan made appearances under a number of conductors: Ohan Durian, Ohannes Tchekidjian, Eduard Topchjan, Leon Botstein (USA), Voihchekh Mikhnevsky (Poland), John Nelson (USA), Lior Shambadal (Germany), Pier Carlo Orizio (Italy) and others. Irina Zakyan has participated in prestigious music festivals such as Wratislavia Cantans (Poland) and Byblos (Lebanon).
A Polish newspaper wrote that Irina Zakyan’s singing reminded of the great singer Joan Sutherlands. An Armenian newspaper wrote: “Irina Zakyan’s Cio-Cio-San is a black pearl in the ocean”.
Her repertoire includes Requiems by Mozart, Verdi, Brahms, Faure; masses, oratories as well as operatic appearances in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly (Cio-Cio-San), Il Tabarro (Giorgetta), Turandot (Liu), La Boheme (Mimi), Donizetti’s Poliuto (Paolina), Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra (Maria), Otello (Dezdemona), Leoncavallo’s Il Pagliacci (Nedda), Vivaldi’s Tigran the Great (Appamia), Tchaikowsky’s The Queen of Spades (Liza), Eugene Onegin (Tatiana) and other operas.