Award-winning classical and electric guitarist, Dr. Tom Clippinger has been described as “one of the finest young players I’ve heard,” and “someone to watch” (Oren Fader, guitarist and faculty at Manhattan School of Music and SUNY Purchase). As an advocate for new music, Tom frequently works with composers to expand the classical guitar repertoire, and in this process has been the dedicatee of several new works by composers such as Donald Grantham, Celil Refik Kaya, José Maria Sanchez-Verdú, Nailah Nombeko, and Kile Smith. In 2018, Tom was invited to perform at the TEDXFSU conference in Tallahassee, FL.
Tom completed his undergraduate studies at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, his Masters degree at Florida State University, where he served as a teaching assistant to esteemed pedagogue, Bruce Holzman, and recently his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Texas at Austin, where he was awarded the Rainwater Grant for Innovation with colleagues Evan Taucher and Dragos Ilie for the Ex-Aequo initiative, “Changing the Canon”. The resulting album was released in 2022 where Tom can be heard playing Nailah Nombeko’s “Parterre”.
Additionally, Tom was a founding member of the Austin Guitar Quartet. In 2019, they performed and recorded Nico Muhly’s “How Little You Are” with the Texas Guitar Quartet, and the GRAMMY Award Winning groups, Los Angeles Guitar Quartet and Conspirare. The recording of this work was released in 2020 by Delos Productions, and reached #15 on the Billboard traditional classical charts in its first week, reviewed favorably by BBC 3 Radio, featured in the January 2021 issue of Gramophone Magazine, named a top album of 2020 by Philadelphia’s WRTI, and named a top 10 album of 2020 by The Chicago Tribune. The album was nominated for a 2022 GRAMMY.
In 2021, Tom left the Austin Guitar Quartet, and started the New York City Guitar Quartet, a group dedicated to new music. Tom has studied with Ray Chester, Bruce Holzman, Adam Holzman, Matt Palmer, Oren Fader, Sharon Isbin, and Magnus Andersson. He has attended Le Domaine Forget International Music Festival, The Aspen Music Festival, Brevard Institute, and Mostly Modern Festival.