Concert pianist, devoted teacher, skilful administrator, Cynthia Millman Floyd always had excellence as her personal goal in her piano playing, in her teaching, and in her administrative work. Excellence was her goal, and excellence is her legacy.
Cynthia Millman Floyd was born in Toronto in 1938 and moved early in her life to Ottawa. After earning an ARCT in piano performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, on the recommendation of Glenn Gould, she studied in Vienna for eight years with Bruno Seidhofer, Dieter Weber, and Erwin Ratz. She graduated from the State Academy for Music and the Performing Arts and received both the Concert Diploma and the Piano Pedagogy Diploma with unanimous top honours.
Returning to Canada in 1969, she became a founding member of the Department of Music at the University of Ottawa, where she was a professor for forty years. In addition to performing in Austria, Canada, China, and the United States, she created the University's first courses in piano pedagogy and was instrumental in the design of the Master of Music program. She also chaired the Department of Music from 1983 until 1991 and was vice-dean of the Faculty of Arts from 1991 until 1993. Professor Floyd was the driving force behind the construction of Perez Hall, the home of the Department of Music.
In the words of Marcel Hamelin, her friend and colleague, former dean of the Faculty of Arts, rector, and vice-chancellor of the University of Ottawa, "She was the architect, the maître-d'oeuvre, the inspiration of the Department of Music for more than twenty years and her tremendous legacy is to have placed music at the centre of our campus."
Cynthia Millman Floyd was committed to excellence, and her legacy is the excellence at the heart of the Department of Music.
Testimonial presented by Dr. David Staines on February 6, 2012.