Billy R. Hunter, Jr.
A native of Austin, Texas, Billy Hunter is currently principal trumpet of the Metropolitan Opera in New York and assistant principal trumpet with the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra in Chicago. Before this, he was principal with the New World Symphony and Spoleto Festival Italy orchestras, and has performed as guest principal with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony in Germany, Malaysian Philharmonic in Kuala Lumpur, and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. Other orchestras with which he has performed with are the New York Philharmonic, Boston, Baltimore, and Dallas Symphonies.
As a chamber musician and soloist Hunter has performed with several ensembles and music festivals including Grant Park Orchestra, New World Symphony, University of Texas Symphony and Wind Ensemble, Prometheus Chamber Orchestra, Eastern Music Festival Orchestra, American Brass Quintet, the Martha's Vineyard Chamber Music Festival and the MET Chamber Ensemble. His honors and awards include first prize in the brass and non-string divisions of the Kingsville International Solo Competition, and second prize in the National Trumpet Competition. As a fellow of the prestigious Tanglewood Music Center in the Berkshires, he was the recipient of the Roger Voisin Trumpet award, and the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award at the University of Texas at Austin
A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and the Juilliard School, Hunter's teachers have included Mark Gould, former principal trumpet of the MET; Raymond Mase, principal trumpet of the New York City Ballet and American Brass Quintet; Raymond Crisara (former trumpet of the Met and NBC Symphony); and Harry Shapiro. former horn player of the Boston Symphony.