Irina Tishchenko (she performs under the maiden surname Donskaya) was born in Leningrad. She graduated the Rimsky-Korsakov Leningrad State Conservatory (Class of Honored Artist of the Republic of Bashkortostan Tatiana Tower). Since 1978, she is a teacher at St. Petersburg Mussorgsky College of Music. Since 1991 she has been the soloist of St. Petersburg State Academic Capella Orchestra and since the same year has been conducting the harp class at the St. Petersburg State Conservatory. All students of her class are laureates of All-Russian and international competitions, they work in orchestras, and many of them are engaged in recital activity.
She performed with such conductors as Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Jansug Kakhidze, Michel Tabachnik, Arvid Jansons, Maris Jansons, Arnold Katz, Yury Simonov, Vladislav Chernushenko, Alexander Chernushenko, Alexander Dmitriev, Eduard Serov, Andrei Chistyakov, Viron Fidetsis, Mikis Theodorakis, Vladimir Ziva, Edward Chivzhel, Ravil Martynov and others.
Irina Donskaya performs at evening programs which are entirely composed of concerts for harp and orchestra. Her performances on "Harp in the Music of Ten Centuries" Program scored a great success. She organized the St. Petersburg Festival in 1999 with the same title.
She gives solo performances on the best concert halls in Russia (Tchaikovsky Hall of Moscow Philharmonic, Big and Small Halls of St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Concert Halls in Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, Petrozavodsk), tours in Germany, France, Italy and Finland. She regularly conducts master classes in Russia and abroad.