Thomas Flippin is an award-winning American classical guitarist, published composer, and acclaimed music educator. Motivated by the loss of his mother, Flippin devoted himself to music and graduated with honors from the University of Chicago; receiving undergraduate degrees in Law and Music. While there, he studied with Denis Azabagic and Dr. Julie Goldberg. Recently, Flippin completed his Master of Music and Artist Diploma degrees at the Yale School of Music on a full-tuition scholarship under the mentorship of Benjamin Verdery. He was honored by the school with an invitation from the dean to be one of six students, and the only guitarist, featured in the prestigious Annual Commencement Concert. He has been hailed as “a rousing performer” (Chicago Maroon) and has delighted audiences across the United States through his playing and compositions.
A dedicated student, Flippin has performed for several of the most distinguished musicians in the world: Sharon Isbin at The Aspen Music Festival, Manuel Barrueco at the Peabody Summer Guitar Masterclass, Eliot Fisk, The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, Ransom Wilson, and David Leisner, among others. He also has studied composition under the tutelage of Martin Bresnick, Ingram Marshall, John Anthony Lennon, and Michelle Mcquade Dewhirst. As a chamber musician, Flippin has performed with Lisa Kaplan of Eighth Blackbird, for the Connecticut Classical Guitar Society, The Norfolk Music Festival, The Yale Guitar Extravaganza, and the New England Guitar Society’s International Guest Guitarist Series.
In regard to new music, Flippin has premiered new works by Benjamin Verdery and Juilliard composer Raymond J. Lustig , among others. He has also been given the rare honor of being commissioned twice by the head of the Yale Guitar Department to compose and perform solo guitar sonatas. Flippin’s works have been performed at universities, festivals, and guitar societies across the United States and he was recently invited to perform as a soloist with the Hamden Symphony Orchestra. Flippin is also a prizewinner in several guitar and composition competitions, including: The 2005 Olga and Paul Menn Foundation Composition Prize, and The 2005 National Federation of Music Clubs and 2006 East Carolina University national guitar competitions. In addition, Flippin was one of the first recipients of the highly competitive Alumni Ventures grants from Yale University, which will fund a tour of low-income communities throughout New England in 2009.
Flippin is currently on the faculty at the Music Conservatory of Westchester and loves chess and hiking in his spare time.