Treasury of Claremont Music

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Tom Flaherty

Tom Flaherty is a composer and cellist who makes music for humans and electronics. Beneath a simple surface, colliding rhythms, meters, and tempos, amid widely ranging levels of dissonance, often motivate his compositions. The identities of meters, harmonies, and even single pitches are often called into question, and can be heard in different ways by performers and listeners.


Over his career, Flaherty has received grants, prizes, awards, and residencies from the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, American Music Center, the Pasadena Arts Council, the Massachusetts Council for the Arts and Humanities, the Delius Society, the University of Southern California, Meet the Composer, and Yaddo.


Published by American Composers Editions and G. Schirmer, Inc., Flaherty’s compositions have been performed throughout Europe and North America by such new music ensembles: as Volti and Earplay in San Francisco, Dinosaur Annex in Boston, Speculum Musicae, Odyssey Chamber Players in New York, Xtet and Ensemble GREEN in Los Angeles; and by such performers as: soprano, Lucy Shelton; guitarists, David Starobin, Peter Yates, and Matthew Elgart; cellists, Maggie Parkins and Roger Lebow; violinists, Sarah Thornblade and Rachel Huang; organist, William Peterson; and pianists, Genevieve Feiwen Lee, Nadia Shpachenko, Susan Svrček, Charlotte Zelka, Vicki Ray, Aron Kallay, and Karl and Margaret Kohn. 


Flaherty’s music has been recorded on the Albany, Bridge, Capstone, Klavier, Reference, and SEAMUS labels and he appears as a cellist on the Naxos, Bridge, and Cambria labels.


Tom Flaherty has earned degrees from Brandeis University, the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and the University of Southern California. His primary teachers in composition include Martin Boykan, Bülent Arel, Robert Linn, and Frederick Lesemann. A founding member of the Almont Ensemble, Flaherty currently holds the John P. and Magdalena R. Dexter Professorship in Music and is Director of the Electronic Studio at Pomona College. 


Photography by Anthony Brooks