Igor’s father enrolled him in the Talmudist school where Igor displayed an amazing aptitude for the Orthodox liturgy, which he committed to memory. He mastered Hebrew and eventually spoke eight languages fluently. He also sang in the local synagogue choir.
The political situation in Russia and the Ukraine was worsening with strong anti-Semitism and pogroms. In 1919, when Igor was 15, the Greenberg family moved to Vienna, Austria. Living conditions in Vienna were not much better than they had been in Grodek. Igor worked at many different jobs during these years: in an iron factory, a tailor shop, and delivering milk. The work hours were from 6 am until 8 pm, 6 days a week. In what little free time he had, he visited the public library and sat in on many lectures at the Urania, a free, night school. On Sundays, he would often go to a movie theater and he developed a fascination with America. Like many he saw Westerns, and cowboys and horses would forever fascinate him.
Gorin’s idol during this period was Italian baritone Mattia Battistini. He resolved that he wanted his voice to sound like Battistini’s and made a concentrated effort to master the bel canto singing style.
Gorin became head cantor at the Leopoldstrasse Synagogue in Vienna and his fame as a cantor became widespread. One of the rabbis who heard him arranged for Gorin to make his operatic debut as Ping in a Swiss performance of Turandot. He subsequently joined a Czech opera touring company and finally the Vienna Volksoper in 1930. His roles included Tonio, Germont, Figaro, Rigoletto, Renato, Wolfram, Escamillo and Valentin.
Gorin began his career in the U.S. at the Radio City Music Hall in New York, where he was billed as a "Viennese baritone". After that he was engaged for a 10 week stint on NBC’s The Standard Hour. It was during these programs that Gorin met the composer Albert Hay Malotte. As a result, Gorin was the first to perform Malotte’s famous setting of “The Lord’s Prayer”. It was to become Gorin’s most popular number on rado, on television and in concerts. His recording of it in 1940 became his most popular recorded selection.
Gorin then joined the radio program Hollywood Hotel and his success there led to appearances on the Kraft Music Hall, Great Moments in Music, The Ford Sunday Evening Hour, International Harvester, and The RCA Victor Hour. In 1936, he signed his first recording contract with RCA and made his first recordings in 1937. He also did a screen test for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and appeared in a secondary role in “Broadway Melody of 1938” singing “The Toreador Song” from Carmen and parts of “Largo al factotum” from The Barber of Seville.
In 1939, Gorin married Mary Smith in May and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in July.
From this point forward, Igor Gorin’s career was pretty well determined. Although he did audition for the Metropolitan Opera, the Met did not engage him. Gorin went on to become primarily a concert singer who appeared on programs such as The Voice of Firestone and The Bell Telephone Hour regularly. He also appeared in opera performances at a variety of companies around the country, from Pasadena, California to Baltimore, Maryland. Among his many performances was his annual participation as Brigham Young in the Mormon historical pageant “All Faces West” .
Notable future performances included portrayals of Rigoletto on the television program NBC Opera Theatre in 1958 and Giorgio Germont with NBC again in 1960. He appeared with Boris Christoff in 1962 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in Alexander Borodin’s Prince Igor in 1962. The following year, he sang with the New York City Opera, as Rigoletto, and Giorgio Germont in La traviata (opposite Beverly Sills). He made one guest appearance at the Metropolitan Opera in La Traviata in 1964.