About this Artist
Thomas Neenan retired in 2020 from California Institute of Technology in Pasadena after a thirty-year career as Lecturer in Music History and Music Theory. His teaching won him many accolades including a Distinguished Teaching Award from the Associated Students of Caltech in 2016.
Neenan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Organ Performance from Cal-State Northridge and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Organ Performance Practices and Conducting from UCLA where he was named Outstanding Graduate Student. He studied organ with David Britton and Thomas Harmon in the U.S. and Ernst-Ulrich von Kameke and Jean Langlais in Europe.
As an organist, he has performed in the United States, Germany, France, Netherlands, Japan and Switzerland including solo performances on historic instruments in Naumburg, Germany (Wenzelskirche), Haarlem, Netherlands (Grote Kerk), Hamburg, Germany (Jakobikirche), and on modern instruments at Stanford University Chapel, Old West Church (Boston), Suntory Hall (Tokyo), and at Royce Hall UCLA.
Neenan has contributed scholarly essays to a variety of professional journals on topics ranging from Gregorian chant to the organ music of György Ligeti. He has received research grants to study and write on performance practices in the organ music of Dietrich Buxtehude, music and culture in the Dutch communities of colonial New York, and music at the monastic community of Taizé, France. Since 2020 he has been a contributor to the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s program booklet.
In 2017 he retired after 36 years as Music Director at The Parish of St. Matthew (Episcopal), Pacific Palisades, and Music Director and Conductor of The Chamber Orchestra at St. Matthew’s. At St. Matthew’s he commissioned and premiered more than three dozen works by composers including David Newman, Thomas Pasatieri, Paul Chihara, Roger Bourland, Tarik O’Regan and many young local talents. He currently serves as President of the St. Matthew’s Music Guild which presents a concert series by the chamber orchestra, guest artists and ensembles, and offers outreach activities in area schools, homeless shelters and service centers, and retirement communities (MusicGuildOnline.org).
He is active as a substitute and interim organist and choir director and enjoys golf, scuba diving, cooking and travel with his wife, Robin.