Carlisle Floyd is one of the foremost composers and librettists of opera in the United States. Born in Latta, South Carolina in 1926, Floyd earned degrees in piano and composition at Syracuse University. He began his teaching career in 1947 at Florida State University, remaining there until 1976, when he accepted a professorship at the University of Houston.
He is the co-founder of the Houston Opera Studio jointly created by the University of Houston and Houston Grand Opera. Floyd's operas are regularly performed in the US and Europe. He achieved national prominence with the New York premiere of his opera, Susannah, by the New York City Opera in 1956 after its world premiere at Florida State University.
Of Mice and Men is Floyd's other most performed work, given its premiere by the Seattle Opera in 1970. Other operas by Floyd are Willie Stark and Cold Sassy Tree.
Floyd has been the recipient of a number of honors and awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, National Medal of Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts Opera Honors.