Ph.D. in Musicology, 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


Musicologist-Pianist Pheaross Graham earned his Ph.D. in Musicology at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. His dissertation, “Visions of the Pianistic Self: Don Shirley, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Music Performance Studies,” unites the artists’ idealist subject positions and intertextuality with close, analytic sonic readings of their recorded piano performances. His work links theory with praxis. Dr. Graham 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. His doctoral committee included Raymond Knapp (co-advisor) and Mitchell Morris (co-advisor), Elisabeth Le Guin, and William Kinderman. 

Prior to receiving his Ph.D. at UCLA, Dr. Graham earned his M.F.A. in piano performance at the University of California, Irvine, where he studied with Nina Scolnik, a leading expert of the Taubman piano approach, which emphasizes healthy, sustainable virtuosity.  He continued  with formal graduate-level piano training at UCLA and studied  with Walter Ponce, among others.

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 Sharon Mann and Betty Woo, both celebrated piano pedagogues 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. Stimulating to Dr. Graham's earlier years were experiences under scholarship at the Tanglewood Institute, and the California State Summer School for the Arts (at CalArts). 

Awards have included the Eugene V. Cota-Robles Fellowship, two Dean's Medals from the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, the Musicology Department Distinguished Teaching Award, an EPIC-Mellon Fellowship, and grants from the UCLA Arts Initiative and UCLA Center for Musical Humanities (for the MPST conference), among many others. Dr. Graham has performed in masterclasses with internationally acclaimed recording artists, including Japanese pianist Aki Takahashi, Italian pianist Marino Formenti, and Scottish pianist Malcolm Martineau.  Additionally, Dr. Graham has made television appearances as a pianist on several networks, including PBS and Univisión. At UC Irvine, Dr. Graham 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.  He served as a Graduate Student Researcher for UCLA's EPIC (Excellence in Pedagogy and Innovative Classrooms) program. He remains an active classical pianist.

Dr. Graham maintains his private piano studio in Los Angeles 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.