Richard Alan Beirach was born on 23 May 1947 in Brooklyn, New York City. He is a consistently inventive pianist whose ability to play both free and with lyricism makes him an original. After studying classical piano, Beirach switched to jazz. He studied at Berklee and the Manhattan School of Music, and took lessons with Stan Getz, Dave Holland, and Jack DeJohnette. Beirach played electric piano while with Dave Liebman's Lookout Farm in 1974, but afterward mostly stuck to acoustic piano. He teamed up with Liebman on many occasions (including the early-'80s group Quest) and has recorded frequently since the '80s. Among his many jobs as a sideman were important stints with Getz, Lee Konitz, John Abercrombie, and Chet Baker, and Beirach has played music ranging from hard bop to totally free. His classical training can sometimes be heard in his more advanced improvisations, along with the sensitivity of a Bill Evans.
To take classical pieces and open them for improvisation, without depriving them of their character, is also the basic principle in the cooperation with violinist Gregor Huebner with whom Beirach works since 1996. The trio with Beirach, Huebner and again George Mraz on the bass has released three albums with the label ACT. "Round about Bartok", "Round about Federico Mompou" and "Round about Monteverdi" are each dedicated to the respective composer and try and approach them via improvisation.