Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The College of Music Celebrates Carlisle Floyd

A Celebration of Carlisle Floyd

Saturday, September 24, 2011
7:30 pm, Ruby Diamond Concert Hall
Reserved Seating: $10; Free for students with FSU ID
Tickets available through the College of Music Box Office: 645-7949

On Saturday, September 24, The Florida State University College of Music will present a gala concert to celebrate Carlisle Floyd and his generosity to the music program. Floyd, one of the foremost composers and librettists of opera in the United States today, is also long time Tallahassee resident. Arriving here in 1947, Floyd taught at FSU for more than 30 years and is perhaps best known for his world-renowned operas Susannah (composed and premièred at FSU in 1955) and Of Mice and Men (1970), both of which have entered the standard repertoire.

The performance will be held in the newly renovated Ruby Diamond Concert Hall and will showcase selections from several of Floyd’s operas, including Susannah, Of Mice and Men, Cold Sassy Tree, and The Passion of Jonathan Wade. The concert will feature numerous College of Music faculty, alumni, and student performers, including Kristine Ciesinski, Shirley Close, Taylor Johnson, Stella Zambalis, Richard Cox, David Okerlund, and Ryan Speedo Green, among others. Guest Artist George Darden, former assistant conductor, pianist, and coach of the Metropolitan Opera, will serve as pianist and coach for the event, and FSU's Director of Opera Activities Douglas Fisher will be Master of Ceremonies.

“We are thrilled to present this program of exciting and beautiful scenes from the operas of Carlisle Floyd, who has truly been a godsend to the FSU College of Music,” says Fisher. “His operatic career began on the stage of Ruby Diamond Concert Hall when he was a young professor at FSU with the premiere of his first opera, Susannah, and although he went on to become one of the world's most successful and respected opera composers, his loyalty to and interest in the College of Music has been unwavering.”

“His most recent expression of generosity and support to opera at FSU came earlier this year when he donated his personal manuscript scores for Susannah and Wuthering Heights to the College and gave funds to create the Carlisle Floyd Endowment for Opera to ensure that the opera program at FSU continues to grow and thrive,” continued Fisher. “We could think of no better way to thank him for his lifelong support and to celebrate his 85th year than to give Tallahassee audiences a chance to see and hear great scenes from Carlisle Floyd's operas and allow them to meet both the man and his music.”

Reserved tickets for the event are $10 (free for FSU students with ID) and all proceeds will benefit the Carlisle Floyd Endowment for Opera. For more information about this event, please contact the College of Music at 850-644-4744.



Born in Latta, South Carolina in 1926, Floyd earned B.M. and M.M. degrees in piano and composition from Syracuse University. He began his teaching career in 1947 at Florida State University, remaining there until 1976, when he accepted the prestigious M. D. Anderson Professorship in the University of Houston. In addition, he is co-founder with David Gockley of the Houston Opera Studio, jointly created by the University of Houston and Houston Grand Opera.

Floyd has been the recipient of a number of honors and awards: a Guggenheim Fellowship; Citation of Merit from the National Association of American Conductors and Composers; the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Nation Award from the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce; the distinguished professor award as well as an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from The Florida State University; an honorary doctorate from Dickinson College; and the National Opera Institute’s Award for Service to American Opera. He served on the Music Panel of the National Endowment for the Arts from 1974-80 and was the first chairman of the Opera/Musical Theater Panel. Floyd was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2001 and in 2004 was awarded the National Medal of Arts in a ceremony at the White House. In 2008, Floyd was the only composer to be included in the inaugural National Endowment for the Arts Opera Honors. On March 28, 2011, Floyd was also inducted into the South Carolina Hall of Fame in Myrtle Beach, SC.