Six and one half linear feet, 1934-2000, augment the South Caroliniana Library’s research files pertaining to composer and librettist Carlisle Floyd (b. 1926), a South Carolina native who is universally regarded as one of America’s most renowned and popular composers of opera.
Floyd earned both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at Syracuse University, where he studied composition with Ernst Bacon, and then served as professor of piano and composition at Florida State University from 1947 to 1976. Upon leaving Florida State, Floyd accepted the M.D. Anderson Professorship at the University of Houston and was both the professor of musical theater and co-director of the Houston Opera Studio. Among the many honors and awards Carlisle Floyd has received during his distinguished career are the Guggenheim Fellowship (1956), Citation of Merit from the National Association of American Conductors and Composers (1957), the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Nation Award from the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce (1959), Distinguished Professor of Florida State University Award (1964), Resolution of Appreciation by the State of Florida Legislature (1972), and honorary doctorates from Dickinson College and Syracuse University.
Included with the additions are copies of musical scores for Floyd’s operas “Susannah” (1955), “Wuthering Heights” (1958), “The Passion of Jonathan Wade” (1962, revised 1996), “The Sojourner and Mollie Sinclair” (1963), “Of Mice and Men” (1970), “Bilby’s Doll” (1976), and “Willie Stark” (1981), as well as his monodrama, “Flower and Hawk” (1972). There are also musical scores for a number of other compositions, including orchestral, vocal, and solo piano works; audio and video recordings of live performances of “Susannah,” “The Passion of Jonathan Wade,” “Of Mice and Men,” and “Cold Sassy Tree” produced by opera companies in Houston, Kansas City, New Orleans, and Seattle; playbills; photographs; business and personal correspondence; and ephemera, including Floyd’s 1943 diploma from North High School. Two scrapbooks dating from the 1940s and 1950s contain photographs, newspaper clippings, and playbills documenting the composer’s early professional career and accomplishments.