Biography

An accomplished orchestral conductor who has worked extensively in opera, Maestro Gerard Floriano maintains a busy schedule as artistic director, music director, and guest conductor having conducted concerts in Krakow, Warsaw, Prague, Barcelona, Madrid, Florence, Rome, Vienna, Salzburg and Leipzig, as well as in many of America’s premier concert halls including NYC’s Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall, Baltimore’s Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, and Buffalo’s Kleinhans Music Hall. He is the visionary and creative force behind Finger Lakes Opera. Now in its eighth season, Finger Lakes Opera has become a glimmering treasure on the western New York cultural scene. “Finger Lakes Opera is one of the most vibrant arts organizations in western New York. Their level of artistry rivals the very best regional opera companies in the country.” (Anthony Dean Griffey, operatic tenor and professor of voice at the Eastman School of Music). Music critics have been effusive in their praise as well: John Pitcher wrote “Floriano proved to be nothing less than a virtuoso conductor… He led his fine orchestra with color, precision and a welcome degree of sweep... ushering in a New Age of Opera in Western New York“ and the 2015 production of L'elisir d'amore garnered similar acclaim from Rochester City Newspaper, "....Musical director and Finger Lakes Opera artistic director Gerard Floriano paced the whole show to perfection, and the orchestra…had every Donizettian detail in place.”

Upcoming highlights include a new production of The Barber of Seville at Finger Lakes Opera as well as an evening of Beethoven’s great choral works with the Geneseo Symphony Orchestra and Festival Singers. Recent seasons have seen Maestro Floriano a return to Europe where he led the Geneseo Chamber Singers in a concert tour of Spain and Portugal, as well as performances with the Rochester Chamber Orchestra. Of the RCO’s performance of Louise Farrenc’s Symphony No. 1., music critic David Raymond wrote… “Floriano and the RCO presented this rare piece splendidly and with such palpable enthusiasm that you'd think it had been in the musicians' repertoire for years. The tempos were well judged, and the music practically leapt into the Hochstein Performance Hall."

A sought-after guest conductor, Maestro Floriano has led the philharmonic orchestras of Buffalo and Rochester, the Brevard Music Center Orchestra, Janiec Opera Company, as well as the Geneseo Chamber Orchestra. He has served as the Director of the Conductor’s Institute at Opera Viva! in Verona, Italy, Artistic Director of Mercury Opera, and Resident Conductor at the Brevard Music Center.

His imagination and commitment to family programming includes original productions integrating music history with contemporary culture such as his trilogy of original children’s concerts based upon John Williams’ music from the Harry Potter motion picture series. His reputation as an innovator and an expert at training musicians of all ages has been recognized by the League of American Orchestras. Additionally, Dr. Floriano has published an article on the life and work of Jerome Kern in the Encyclopedia of Broadway and American Culture.

Floriano is currently Chair of the Department of Music and Director of Choral Activities at the State University of New York at Geneseo where he received the coveted SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activity. Floriano and his wife, Joan, who is also a musician and performer, make their home in western New York.