Nationally and internationally known tubist Floyd O. Cooley is one of the most skillful and adventuresome tuba players currently playing. He has been heard in recital throughout the US , Europe and Japan , appearing as soloist, clinician, giving Master classes, and as a member of the San Francisco Symphony.
Floyd joined the San Francisco Symphony in 1969, at the time the youngest tuba player in any major orchestra in the United States . Since then he has soloed with that orchestra on two occasions, under the baton of Seiji Ozawa and Jahja Ling, given recitals in a wide variety of places, including Carnegie Hall, commissioned works by Earl Zindars and Richard Felciano and recorded three solo albums, The Romantic Tuba on Crystal Records, A Schumann Fantasy on Summit Records, and Friends in Low Places on Albany Records. He played the 1992-1993 season with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
As a musician of extremely varied activities and interests, Floyd founded the San Francisco Tuba Quartet. He has performed on the Visiting Artist Series in the Quad Cities of Iowa and Illinois , where he played in schools and factories to over fifteen thousand people, and has played with the 49ers Jazz Band and Perry’s Turkey Bowl Pep Band. No matter what the activity, Floyd has been praised for his sensitive playing, mellow tone and singing melodic line. The San Francisco Chronicle wrote “the sheer beauty of tone and technical accuracy were amazing. The effect was operatically vocal.” A performer at the Aspen Festival in the summers of 1968 and 1969, Floyd has been a participant at the Grand Teton Music Festival from 1975-2001.
Floyd spent one year at Kansas University and received a Performer’s Certificate from Indiana University in 1969. While at Indiana he studied with William Bell, and also has studied with Mstislav Rostropovich, Jacob Krachmalnick and Mark Lifschey. He Studied with Arnold Jacobs from 1973-1998.
In 2001 after 31 years playing with the SFSO he turned his career towards teaching.