Carlisle Floyd in rehearsal.
Photo courtesy of Houston Grand Opera archives

The newly formed Carlisle Floyd Centennial has announced an initiative to celebrate American composer Carlisle Floyd (1926-2021) with international productions, concerts, events, programs, and performances leading up to the 100th anniversary of his birth, June 11, 2026 and continuing that entire season. This multi-year centennial celebration features partnerships with Houston Grand Opera, Boosey & Hawkes, the University of Houston, Florida State University, and The South Caroliniana Library to coordinate with musicians, scholars, opera companies, and other organizations from around the globe to explore and appreciate Floyd’s oeuvre, including his operas as well as choral and orchestral works.

Overseen by Executive Director Christopher Ray, who served as Floyd’s assistant, the Carlisle Floyd Centennial is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the composer’s remarkable legacy.

Christopher Ray says, « Carlisle was an incredibly influential figure in my life. He was a mentor, friend, colleague, and a brilliant musician and storyteller. It’s an honor to be part of this Centennial celebration, working alongside the many composers, conductors, directors, and singers who have benefitted from Carlisle’s dedication to American opera—not to mention his wonderful operas. We all have an extraordinary opportunity to come together and celebrate his legacy by taking on the mantle of sharing his music with the next generation of artists. I look forward to seeing what we create together. »

As part of its mission, the Carlisle Floyd Centennial will support opera companies, presenters, universities, museums, and artists in programming Floyd’s work. The organization will also assist in the installation of exhibits internationally, produce a documentary series, release new and remastered recordings and promote recordings that are now available to stream for the first time, and support Floyd-related educational initiatives.

The Carlisle Floyd Centennial has also formed an Honorary Committee of many of today’s leading opera stars, directors, conductors, and administrators in support of the Centennial. The Honorary Committee is chaired by composer Jake Heggie, whom Floyd mentored.

Jake Heggie says, “Carlisle Floyd was as central and essential to the creation of a distinctly American style of opera as Britten was to English opera and Verdi to Italian opera. The flourishing of new American opera today can be traced directly to Carlisle’s groundbreaking, beautiful work.”

To learn more about the Carlisle Floyd Centennial and performances of Floyd’s works being presented around the world, visit .

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