Charles Floyd

Charles  Floyd

Charles Floyd

Born in Chicago, conductor, pianist, and composer Charles Floyd began studying piano at age four, gave his first solo recital at age nine, and by age twenty had been heard in solo recital, chamber music and concerto performances throughout the United States and Spain. His mentors include pianists Joseph Schwartz, the late Aube Tzerko, Howard Karp, Lee Luvisi, and Misha Dichter. As a conductor, he has been heard in concert with more than 500 orchestras since 1991, during which time his work at the podium caught the special attention of conductors James DePreist and Seiji Ozawa. His appearances include performances with the symphony orchestras of Detroit, Oregon, Saint Louis, Philadelphia, Buffalo, San Francisco, Chicago, San Francisco, and Baltimore. He has also appeared with the Scottish National Radio Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, Sydney Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, Aukland Symphony, Wellington Sinfonia (New Zealand), Honolulu Symphony, London Philharmonic, Edmonton Symphony (Alberta, Canada), and the Holland Symfonia (Haarlem and Amsterdam, The Netherlands). During the 2003-04 season, he appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in four different programs, and In July 2004 made his Brooklyn Philharmonic debut at Carnegie Hall. A regular guest conductor of the Boston Pops for sixteen years, he leads the annual "Gospel Night at Pops" at Symphony Hall, a program that features orchestral classics as well as a 120-voice gospel chorus. His work in the 1996 season included a PBS telecast of Evening at Popsfeaturing Patti LaBelle and Edwin Hawkins, and critically acclaimed performances as pianist of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue under Keith Lockhart. Mr. Floyd's programs have featured such artists as Grace Bumbry, Harolyn Blackwell, Sting, Elton John, Brian Wilson, James Taylor, Matt Lauer, The Paratore Brothers, Yolanda Adams, Jennifer Holliday, Daryl Coley, Kirk Franklin, Doc Severinsen, Sergio Mendes, Chris Botti, Stevie Wonder, Wynona Judd, William Warfield, and Edwin Hawkins. In 1998 he was music director for the nationally broadcast PBS holiday special, A Cathedral Christmas, with Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. His eleven-year partnership with singer Natalie Cole included such projects as the multiple Grammy Award-winning tribute to Nat King Cole entitledUnforgettable, With Love, the Emmy Award-winning PBS "Great Performances" concert video of the same title, as well as the Grammy-winning releases Take a Look and Stardust. Charles Floyd's compositions range from chamber music to large orchestral and vocal works. A tribute to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, One Man's Dream for narrator and orchestra, was commissioned and premiered by the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra in 2001. His Four Spiritualsfor soprano and orchestra was premiered at Symphony Hall with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra in 1995, and his oratorio Hosanna for gospel chorus and orchestra premiered here in 2000. In July 2005 he conducted Howard Shore's The Lord Of The Rings Symphony at the request of the Oscar-winning film composer. In January 2009 he was the conductor for "We Are One," the pre-inaugural celebration for President Barack Obama at the Lincoln Memorial.