Dom Richard Gagné was born in 1954 in L'Islet-sur-Mer, Quebec. He studied music at the Quebec City Music Conservatory from 1969 to 1976, receiving First Prizes in organ, harmony, music history, and musicology. He returned to the same institution from 1987 to 1990 in order to complete his tuition in music theory, composition, and musical analysis, and was awarded Prizes in counterpoint and in fugue. He studied with the likes of Claude Lavoie, Noëlla Genest, Pierick Houdy, Irène Brisson, and Pierre Genest.
He entered the Abbey of Saint-Benoît-du-Lac in 1976 and was ordained a priest there in 1984. While pursuing his monastic and theological training, he perfected himself on the organ with Dom André Laberge, and received the greater part of his training in improvisation with Raymond Daveluy.
Dom Gagné has frequently been heard in concert throughout Quebec. Furthermore, Radio-Canada has broadcast many of his improvisations. In 1991 and 1994, he was invited to teach improvisation at the Musique Sacrée d'Épinal workshop in France.
Finally, Dom Richard Gagné succeeded Dom Jean Claire as choirmaster at the Solesmes Abbey, a post he held from 1996 to 2003, while concurrently holding the post of organist there as of 1998.