Thomas Flippin is a groundbreaking American classical guitarist, composer, and arranger. Hailed as “brilliant” (ArtForum), Flippin has appeared across North America in venues such as Le Poisson Rouge, The Kitchen, the 92nd St Y, the Aspen Music Festival, the Highline Ballroom, the Norfolk Music Festival, 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, MacArthur Fellow Jason Moran, Eighth Blackbird’s Lisa Kaplan, and Juilliard composer Raymond Lustig.
A southern Californian, Flippin began teaching himself guitar at age 11. He then graduated with honors from the University of Chicago with undergraduate degrees in Law and Music. During these years, he studied with Denis Azabagic and Dr. Julie Goldberg and received the music department’s Olga and Paul Menn Composition Prize. After completing his Masters at the Yale School of Music as the first African-American guitarist in the school’s history, Flippin was selected by the Dean and guitar professor Benjamin Verdery to join the Artist Diploma program. Upon graduating, he was the only guitarist of his class featured in the Annual Commencement Concert.
A dedicated student, Flippin has performed for several distinguished musicians, including: Sharon Isbin, Manuel Barrueco, Ransom Wilson, the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, Eliot Fisk, Lorenzo Micheli, David Leisner, and the Canadian Guitar Quartet. He also has studied composition under the tutelage of Martin Bresnick, Ingram Marshall, John Anthony Lennon, and Michelle Mcquade Dewhirst. His own works are published by the Clear Note and Vellini labels.
Flippin’s awards include prizes from the National Federation of Music Clubs, 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. Currently, Flippin is on faculty at Concordia College Conservatory and the Music Conservatory of Westchester in New York. He plays a 2008 Michel Bruck guitar and a 2004 Jason Petty theorbo. He loves blitz chess and mountaineering in his spare time.