Israeli born Irit Assayas studied the cello with Genevieve Tortelier and Uzi Wiesel and chamber music with Oeden Partosh and Rami Shevelov. She has a master’s degree from Tel Aviv University’s Music Academy. Throughout her studies she was the recipient of yearly scholarships from the America-Israel Foundation and other sources. She was awarded scholarships by violinist Zino Francescatti and cellist Siegfried Palm to study in Switzerland and Germany. She also studied with cellist Ronald Leonard in the United States.
After playing a few years with the Los Angeles and Israel Philharmonic orchestras, Irit Assayas joined the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra in 1989 as associate-principal cellist. In 1994 she was appointed principal cellist.
Very active in the field of chamber music, Assayas was for many years the cellist of the Van Leer Chamber Players, touring Latin America and Italy. Since 1991 she has been performing with the Israel Contemporary Players as a founding member and, as soloist, in works by Ligeti and Gubaidulina.
Past solo performances by Irit Assayas with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra include Saint-Saëns’ 1st Cello Concerto, Shelomo (Bloch), Brahms’ Double Concerto, Don Quixote (Strauss) and Victor Hebert’s 2nd Cello Concerto.