THOMAS FLIPPIN blends genres and styles into a refreshing artistic mixture that is distinctly American. Whether he is premiering Juilliard professor Ray Lustig's groundbreaking piece “Figments” on the classical guitar, or performing R&B and Mozart on the theorbo with broadway star Alicia Hall Moran’s acclaimed Motown Project, or plucking the banjo in the historic revival of the 1920’s opera “Voodoo,” Flippin’s playing has been hailed as "brilliant" (ArtForum International), "lovely" (New York Times), and "virtuosic" (I Care if You Listen).
Based in NYC, Thomas Flippin’s performances have taken him across the world, from the villas of Florence, to the halls of Beijing’s Peking University, to revered American venues such as the Whitney Museum Biennial, the Blue Note Jazz Festival, the 92nd St Y, The Times Center, Le Poisson Rouge, The Kitchen, National Sawdust, and the St. Louis Classical Guitar Society as a recurring Artist-in-Residence. He has performed in concerts featuring MacArthur Fellow Jason Moran, as well as members of Eighth Blackbird and the Emerson String Quartet.
Thomas Flippin's work has been showcased in various media outlets, including CSPAN, WNYC & WQXR radio. He has been featured in articles for Classical Guitar Magazine, Acoustic Guitar Magazine, and Gendai Guitar. Flippin's music has been published multiple times in the Guitar Foundation of America's quarterly journal Soundboard and he was featured on the cover as half of Duo Noire, his ensemble with guitarist Chris Mallett. Duo Noire has launched the "Women of Guitar Commissioning Project," in which they have commissioned several of the top female composers of their generation to write for them and remedy the lack of gender diversity in classical repertoire and programming.: Clarice Assad, Courtney Bryan, Gabrielle Herbst, Golfam Khayam, Mary Kouyoumdjian, Gity Razaz, and Gabriella Smith. Duo Noire has been heralded for their "spectacular precision" (St. Louis Post-Dispatch ) and has been hailed for being "trailblazers" (St. Louis American). Flippin's debut recording, Something New, was praised for being "beautifully played" by Classical Guitar Magazine and "played with real affection and taste" by American Record Guide.
A graduate of the University of Chicago, Flippin obtained bachelor's degrees in Law & Music (with honors) and was awarded the college's composition prize. He then earned Master of Music and Artist Diploma degrees from the Yale University School of Music on a full-tuition scholarship and was the first African-American guitar major in the school's history. His primary guitar instruction has been with Benjamin Verdery, Denis Azabagic and Dr. Julie Goldberg, as well as lute studies with Pat O'Brien. Additional studies were as a fellow at the Aspen Music Festival with Sharon Isbin and with Manuel Barrueco for a weeklong master class at the Peabody Conservatory. Composition studies were with Martin Bresnick, Ingram Marshall, John Anthony Lennon, and Michelle Mcquade Dewhirst.
As an educator, Flippin has lectured at Juilliard, Yale, St. Louis University and other respective institutions. He is currently on faculty at both Manhattan’s Diller-Quaile School of Music, and Bronxville's Concordia College Conservatory. He plays a 2016 Glenn Canin guitar, a 2014 Kris Barnett guitar, and a 2005 Jason Petty theorbo.