About the educator

Thomas Neenan

Thomas Neenan

THOMAS NEENAN is Lecturer in Music History and Music Theory at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, a position he has held since 1991. He teaches a full range of music theory and music history courses at Caltech and has been honored with an Outstanding Teaching Award from the Associated Students at Caltech (ASCIT).

Neenan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Organ Performance from California State University, Northridge, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Organ Performance Practices and Conducting from UCLA, where he was named an 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. He studied conducting with Donn Weiss, Samuel Krackmalnick, Thomas Summers and Helmut Rilling.

As a recital organist, he has performed in the United States, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Japan, and Switzerland.

Neenan has contributed scholarly essays and articles 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 in the monastic community of Taizé, France.

Mr. Neenan recently retired after 36 years as Music Director at The Parish of St. Matthew (Episcopal) in Pacific Palisades and 33 years as Music Director and Conductor of The Chamber Orchestra at St. Matthew’s. He continues as President of the Board of Directors of the St. Matthew’s Music Guild. During his tenure the Music Guild commissioned and premiered over thirty works from composers including Christopher Tin, Ola Gjeilo, Tarik O'Regan, Bruce Broughton, Paul Chihara, Roger Bourland, David Newman, Thomas Pasatieri, and Richard Meyer.