Ph.D. in Musicology (In Progress), UCLA

C. Phil. in Musicology, UCLA

M.A. in Musicology, UCLA

M.F.A. in Music: Piano Performance, UC Irvine

B.A. in Music, UC Berkeley

B.S. in Microbial Biology, UC Berkeley

Aspen Music Festival and School (Piano)

Tanglewood Institute (Piano)


Scholar-Pianist Pheaross Graham is a Doctoral Candidate in Musicology at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. His Ph.D. dissertation, “Visions of the Pianistic Self: Don Shirley, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Music Performance Studies,” unites the artists’ idealist subject positions with close, analytic sonic readings of their recorded piano performances. His work links theory with praxis. Pheaross is active in international conferences and public musicology, and has presented his work at the Annual Meeting of the American Musicological Society, Music and the Moving Image (at New York University), LA Opera, University of London, and other venues. Recently, he was Co-Organizer of and participant in the Music Performance Studies Today Conference at UCLA

Prior to receiving his M.A. and C.Phil. in musicology at UCLA, Pheaross earned his M.F.A. in piano performance at the University of California, Irvine, where he studied with Professor Nina Scolnik, a leading expert of the Taubman piano approach, which emphasizes healthy, sustainable virtuosity.  He continued formal piano training at UCLA with Professor David Kaplan and Distinguished Professor Walter Ponce.

At UC Berkeley, he earned a B.A. in music and B.S. in microbial biology.  At Berkeley, his principal piano teacher was Messiaen protégée Jacqueline Chew.  Additionally, he studied piano with Dr. Sharon Mann and Dr. Betty Woo, both celebrated piano professors of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.  His love of the music of Chopin and Rachmaninoff led him to study with Ann Schein, a pupil of Arthur Rubinstein, at the Aspen Music School in Colorado. Stimulating to Pheaross' earlier years were experiences under scholarship at the Tanglewood Institute, and the California State Summer School for the Arts (at CalArts).  As a child, his first teacher was Roger Eshleman, a graduate of the Yale School of Music.

Awards have included the Eugene V. Cota-Robles Fellowship, an Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship, and grants from the UCLA Arts Initiative and UCLA Center for Musical Humanities (for the MPST conference), among many others. Pheaross has performed in masterclasses with internationally acclaimed recording artists, including Japanese pianist Aki Takahashi, Italian pianist Marino Formenti, and Scottish pianist Malcolm Martineau.  Additionally, Pheaross has made television appearances as a pianist on several networks, including PBS and Univisión. At UC Irvine, Pheaross served as a collaborative pianist with the 90-member University Choir and the Chamber Choirs. There, he also taught piano to undergraduate music majors.  At UCLA, he has been a Teaching Fellow and enjoys teaching a wide spectrum of lecture-based music history/musicology courses to majors and non-majors alike. He has also been a Teaching Artist for LA Opera.  Currently, Pheaross is a Graduate Student Researcher for UCLA's EPIC program. He remains an active classical pianist.

Pheaross maintains his private piano studio in the greater Los Angeles area and Orange County. Students of his are competition prize winners. Currently, he is an active member of the American Musicological Society and the Music Teachers' Association of California.