A native of Austin, TX, Billy Hunter has been Principal Trumpet of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra since 2004. He enjoys a versatile career in the classical music world that includes Orchestral, Chamber, and Solo performances as well as several Educational and outreach initiatives. He is also a former member of the Grammy nominated Grant Park Orchestra and faculty member of the New Jersey City University.
In addition to his yearly work with the MET, Mr. Hunter has appeared as Guest Principal Trumpet with The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Malaysian Philharmonic in Kuala Lumpur, The Frankfurt Radio Symphony in Germany, The Spoleto Festival Orchestra in Italy and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra in South Carolina. He has also had concerts with the New York Philharmonic, New Jersey, Dallas, and Boston Symphonies throughout his professional career. He has held previous positions of Principal Trumpet and Section trumpet with the New World and Baltimore symphonies respectively.
As a chamber musician Mr. Hunter has concertised with the MET Chamber ensemble, Prometheus chamber orchestra, the Lake Tahoe summerfest Chamber Orchestra, Stellenbosch International Chamber Music festival, Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music festival and recently with the Music Kitchen concert series in Lower Manhattan. This concert series features free lunchtime performances of various types of music for different homeless shelters across Manhattan.
Outside of his position with NJCU, Mr. Hunter has given masterclasses and recitals nationally and internationally with several universities and schools including Curtis, Juilliard School, University of Mary, UT Austin--Denver, James Madison, Memphis and Pittsburgh State universities, Stellenbosch University in South Africa and various venues in Tokyo, Japan. In addition to this he is a frequent coach for the New York Youth Symphony in Manhattan.
While at The University of Texas, Mr. Hunter was winner of the UT Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, Eastern Music Festival Concerto competition in North Carolina, and the Kingsville International Solo Competition Brass Division. Since then he has gone on to solo with several different ensembles including the UT Wind ensemble, NJCU wind ensemble, the New World Symphony and the Grammy nominated Serafic Fire and Firebird Chamber Orchestra. In addition to these honors, Mr. Hunter was also awarded the Roger Voisin Outstanding trumpeter prize from the Tanglewood Music Center in the Berkshires. In 2010 he was granted the University of Texas Outstanding Young Texas-Exes award, and he won 2 Grammy Awards for participating in the MET Opera performances of John Adams “Doctor Atomic” and Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle.
Mr. Hunter currently holds a Bachelors degree from UT Austin and a Master’s degree from the Juilliard School. His teachers were former MET Principal trumpeter NBC Radio Symphony member, Raymond Crisara, Raymond Mase of the American Brass Quintet and the NYC Ballet, and Mark Gould former Principal trumpeter of the MET Opera. He currently resides in New York City with his wife Anna and their 2 wonderful boys.