Thomas E. Flaherty

John P. and Magdalena R. Dexter Professor of Music; Composition and Chamber Music
  • Expertise


    Tom Flaherty is a composer and cellist who works with music both for human performers and for electronics. Although he has a preference for human performers, he also directs the Pomona College Electronic Studio, where students and faculty create a wide variety of music, and which is the motivation for Pomona’s annual Ussachevsky Festival of Electronic Music.

    As a cellist, Flaherty has performed solos at Jordan Hall in Boston, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and Disney Hall’s REDCAT, LACMA’s Bing Theater, and the Schoenberg Institute in Los Angeles, and often plays new and vintage chamber music in the Los Angeles area.

    As a composer, Flaherty has seen his music performed throughout Europe and North America by such new-music ensembles as Dinosaur Annex in Boston, Speculum Musicae and Odyssey Chamber Players in New York, Earplay and Volti in San Francisco, Concorde in Dublin, Ireland, Gallery Players in Toronto (Canada), XTET and Ensemble GREEN in Los Angeles; as well as by such performers as soprano Lucy Shelton; guitarists David Starobin, Peter Yates, and Matthew Elgart; organist William Peterson; and pianists Genevieve Feiwen Lee, Nadia Shpachenko, Susan Svrček, Charlotte Zelka, and Karl and Margaret Kohn.

    Published by G. Schirmer, Inc. and American Composers Editions, his compositions have been recorded on the Albany, Klavier, Bridge, SEAMUS, Capstone, and Advance labels.

    Research Interests


    Areas of Expertise


    • Electronic Music
    • 20th-Century Music History & Theory
  • Work


    Selected Recordings

    Music of Tom Flaherty, Bridge Records, 2005

    Three Pieces for Clarinet, Eric Mandat, Advance Recordings

    Cross-Currents for Guitar Duo, Elgart/Yates Duo, Bridge Records

    Quintet, Good Times, Almont Ensemble, Klavier Records

    Trio for Cello and Digital Processor, Tom Flaherty, SEAMUS Recordings

    Quartet for Viola, Cello and Digital Processor, Cynthia Fogg and Tom Flaherty, SEAMUS Recordings

    Selected Performances

    "Delusional Paths" was performed and recorded by Volti (Robert Geary, conductor) in San Francisco, May 2012.

    "Shepard's Pi" was performed by Aron Kallay on toy piano at Beyond Baroque in Venice, California, April 2012.

    "Water Ruminations" was premiered and recorded by Millennium Consort Singers (Martin Neary, conductor) and Pomona College Choir (Donna Di Grazia, director) in Bridges Hall, February 2012.

    "Under the Weather" was premiered by Cythia Fogg, viola, and Wiilliam Peterson, organ, in Bridges Hall, February 2012.

    Performances, his solo cello composition “Remembrance of Things Present” as part of a Los Angeles Violoncello Society recital of works by composers who have lived and worked in California, Santa Monica, 2008

  • Education


    Doctor of Musical Arts
    University of Southern California

    Master of Music
    State University of New York, Stony Brook

    Master of Arts
    State University of New York, Stony Brook

    Bachelor of Arts
    Brandeis University

    Recent Courses Taught

    • 20th C Music History & Theory
    • Electronic Music Studio
    • Electronic Music Studio
    • Independent Study: Music
    • Independent Study: Music
    • Music Theory I
  • Awards & Honors

    Awards & Honors

    National Endowment for the Humanities, Sabbatical Grant, 1996

    Mellon Grant, to Develop Music Analysis Software, 1996

    National Endowment for the Arts, Composer Fellowship, 1995

    Pew Grant for Curriculum Development, 1995