Conductor, pianist, and composer Charles Floyd began studying piano at age four and by age twenty had been heard in solo recital, chamber music, and concerto performances around the world. His mentors include pianists Joseph Schwartz, Aube Tzerko, Howard Karp, Lee Luvisi, and Misha Dichter. Mr. Floyd has been the recipient of numerous awards and grants including the Aspen School of Music Fellowship, Oberlin Conservatory’s Rudolf Serkin Award, and from the Kosciuzko Foundation’s National Chopin Competition. In 2009 he conducted the pre-inaugural concert for President Barack Obama, We Are One, broadcast from the Lincoln Memorial on HBO.
As a conductor, Mr. Floyd has been heard in concert with more than 500 orchestras since 1991. He made his San Francisco Symphony debut in 2004. Since 1994 Mr. Floyd has led the Boston Pops’ Gospel Night at Pops, a program which features orchestral classics as well as a 120-voice gospel chorus. In 1996 he appeared in the Boston Pops’ PBS telecast of Evening at Pops, leading Patti LaBelle and Edwin Hawkins in a program of gospel music, and giving performances as pianist in Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue with conductor Keith Lockhart. Mr. Floyd has worked with such diverse artists as Grace Bumbry, Sting, Elton John, Brian Wilson, James Taylor, Matt Lauer, Ziggy Marley, Heart, Brian Setzer, the Paratore Brothers, Yolanda Adams, Jennifer Holliday, Daryl Coley, Kirk Franklin, Doc Severinsen, Sergio Mendes, Earth, Wind & Fire, Nancy Wilson, Chris Botti, Stevie Wonder, Wynona Judd, and William Warfield. In 1998 he was music director for the PBS holiday special, A Cathedral Christmas, with Denyce Graves at the National Cathedral in Washington DC.
Mr. Floyd’s eleven-year partnership with singer Natalie Cole included such projects as the multiple Grammy award-winning tribute to Nat King Cole Unforgettable, 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.
Mr. Floyd’s compositions include a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, One Man's Dream for narrator and orchestra, which was commissioned and premiered by the Charlotte Symphony in 2001. His Four Spirituals for Soprano and Orchestra were premiered at Boston's Symphony Hall with the Boston Pops in 1995, and his oratorio Hosanna for gospel chorus and orchestra premiered there in 2000. Other compositions include a Cello Concerto (2014), a Piano Concerto (2014), a song cycle entitled Song of Solomon (2014), and numerous orchestral adaptations and arrangements.