Based in Germany, American pianist Irwin Gage has become one of the best-known piano accompanists for German and other lieder singers.
His father was Hungarian and his mother Russian. At the University of Michigan and Yale University, he studied piano, musicology, and literature. He found himself developing a particular interest in art song, which led him to continue his studies in Vienna, where he attended the Akademie für Musik. There his teachers were Hilde Lang-Rulh and Erik Werba. He also had private consultations with Otto Erich Deutsch and Helene Berg. To strengthen his knowledge of French vocal literature he studied in Paris with Pierre Bernac, the great singer and associate of composer Francis Poulenc.
He has won several major recording prizes, including the Grand Prix du Disque, the Deutschen Schallplattenpreis, the Edison Prize, and the Gramophone Prize. In 1979 he began teaching classes in lieder interpretation at the University of Zürich. He also conducts master classes in Europe, Japan, and the U.S.