She was a French soprano, and later a vocal teacher.
Granddaughter of the great violinist Joseph Joachim, soprano Irène Joachim was a magnificent artist in her own right, beautiful in voice, visage, figure, and musicianship. Although she came to be identified most closely with the role of Mélisande, she was fluent in the German language and mastered not only French mélodie, but also German Lieder. Indeed, Joachim had learned German, while French was but a second language. The care she brought to her enunciation worked in all of her repertory, bringing poignancy and specificity to the operas she essayed and the songs she sang. The daughter of Herman Joachim and Suzanne Chaigneau, a violinist, Joachim was given lessons in the basic elements of music as soon as she was able to grasp the concepts. Violin studies followed at home, as did piano lessons, and the keyboard instrument became her favorite means for music-making until her voice was discovered. By the time she entered the Paris Conservatoire in 1935, Joachim had acquired sufficient musical understanding to provide an advantage in the demanding regimen there.
Joachim is particularly remembered for her interpretation of Mélisande in Pelléas et Mélisande which she first sang at the Opéra-Comique on 12 September 1940, reprising it in France and abroad up to 1952; she recorded the role in April and May 1941 under Roger Désormière.
Irène Joachim also sang German lieder such as Schubert, Schumann, Berg: she won a 'Grand Prix du Disque' in 1959 for her recording of lieder by Carl Maria von Weber.In 1956 Joachim’s contract at the Opera-Comique concluded, but she went on to be active in broadcasting and recitals.