A native of southern California, classical guitarist Thomas Flippin has been hailed as “brilliant” (ArtForum International) and as “subtle magic” (Destination Chelsea). He has performed across the United States for prestigious venues such as the Whitney Museum Biennial, the Blue Note Jazz Festival, the 92nd St Y, Le Poisson Rouge, The Kitchen, and the St. Louis Classical Guitar Society as an Artist-in-Residence. He has collaborated with many acclaimed musicians, including: Broadway soprano Alicia Hall Moran’s celebrated Motown Project, MacArthur Fellow Jason Moran, Eighth Blackbird’s Lisa Kaplan, and the Juilliard composer Raymond Lustig, who wrote the breakthrough piece Figments for Flippin’s guitar ensemble Duo Noire.
Flippin received his bachelor’s degree in Law/Music with honors from the University of Chicago, where he was awarded the college’s Olga and Paul Menn composition prize. He then earned his Master of Music and Artist Diploma degrees on full scholarship from the Yale University School of Music, where he was the first African-American guitarist in the school’s history. His primary teachers have been Benjamin Verdery, Denis Azabagic and Dr. Julie Goldberg.
Since graduating, Flippin has gone on to be featured in articles for Classical Guitar Magazine (UK),Gendai Guitar Magazine (Japan), and the Guitar Foundation of America’s quarterly journalSoundboard. His debut recording, Something New, was released in 2012 and was described as “beautifully played” (Classical Guitar Magazine) and “played with real affection and taste” (American Record Guide).
Flippin’s awards include prizes from the National Federation of Music Clubs Competition, the East Carolina University Guitar Competition, and an inaugural Yale Alumni Ventures Grant that funded an outreach tour to over 2,500 low-income students throughout New England. Additionally, he has been fortunate to perform in master classes for several distinguished musicians, including: Sharon Isbin (Aspen Music Festival), Manuel Barrueco, the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, and Eliot Fisk, among others. Flippin also studied composition under the tutelage of Martin Bresnick, Ingram Marshall, John Anthony Lennon, and Michelle Mcquade Dewhirst.
Currently, Flippin resides in New York City with his family. He is on faculty at Concordia College Conservatory and the Music Conservatory of Westchester.