20 Questions on the 20th with Billy Hunter

Billy Hunter

20 on 20 for February features Billy Hunter, Principal Trumpet with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in New York, and Assistant Principal Trumpet with the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra in Chicago. Additionally, Billy has performed in various roles as a guest with numerous other orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, and many more. Mr. Hunter’s honors and awards include first prize in the Kingsville International Solo Competition Brass and Non-String divisions, second prize in the National Trumpet Competition, recipient of the Roger Voisin Trumpet award as a fellow of the prestigious Tanglewood Music Center in the Berkshires, and most recently, the University of Texas at Austin Outstanding Young Alumnus Award. Billy is a native of Austin, Texas.

1. What was your first instrument and how old were you when you started? 

Trumpet, age 11.

2. Describe what would be your perfect day.

I can’t answer this question. I honestly do not know.

3. Most memorable performance?

Several: Tchaikovsky #4 with New World Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas conducting. Alpine Symphony with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducting. Capriccio Italian with the Grant Park Orchestra and Carlos Kalmar conducting…. many others.

4. Who were the most significant teachers/mentors in your life?

-Leon Prause (junior high)
-Ray Crisara (all things trumpet and beyond)
-Mark Gould (playing own voice)

5. Can you think of something you’ve been meaning to try, but just haven’t gotten around to it?

Re-learn to sketch again.

6. Favorite symphony?

Tchaikovsky #6.

7. Who was the last person that made you cry and why?

A few years back when a friend passed away unexpectedly.

8. If money was no object, what would you buy?

Private island.

9. What is one thing most people don’t know about you?

I love cartoons.

10. Opera or ballet?

Opera : )

11. First job?

‘Gyro Wrap’ at Highland Mall in Austin, TX.

12. Favorite sports team(s)?

-San Antonio Spurs
-Dallas Cowboys
-Texas Longhorns

13. If you could invite one person to dinner tonight, who would it be?

Björk.

14. Coffee or Tea?

Coffee.

15. Favorite book(s)?

-The Art of War by Sun Tzu
-Light in August by William Faulkner1

16. Favorite movie?

History of the World, Part 1.

17. Siblings?

1 older sister, 1 older brother.

18. Favorite piece to play?

Mascagni’s ‘Cavalleria Rusticana’.

19. Least favorite piece to play?

Bellini’s ‘Norma’.

20. Dogs or cats?

Cats… my favorite cat is the Tiger—my Chinese zodiac sign.

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