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John Holt

Chair of Instrumental Studies

Professor of Trumpet


Instrumental Studies, Brass

Contact Information

Office Location: 
Music Building
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John Holt is professor of trumpet and chair of the Division of Instrumental Studies at the University of North Texas. Holt is also principal trumpet with the Dallas Opera Orchestra, a position he has held since 1989. Holt was the recipient of the 2016 UNT Creative Impact Award, an award “given to a full-time University faculty member whose publications, performances, or exhibitions in the literary or creative arts have had the greatest societal impact.”

Holt has appeared as a soloist with orchestras throughout the United States and Europe and has commissioned, premiered and recorded numerous works since 2003. Facets 4, Holt’s eighth solo CD recording, was released in 2016 by the International Trumpet Guild. His seven previous solo recordings, all on the Crystal Records label, have received unanimous critical acclaim by industry publications Fanfare, American Record Guide, Instrumentalist, Gramophone and the International Trumpet Guild.

Born in Dallas, Holt began studying trumpet at the age of 12 with Richard Giangiulio, former principal trumpet of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. He continued his studies at the University of Miami with Gilbert D. Johnson, former principal trumpet of the Philadelphia Orchestra. At age 22, Holt performed as co-principal trumpet of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Ft. Lauderdale, under the direction of Emerson Buckley. At age 24, Holt became principal trumpet of the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Florence, Italy, under music director Zubin Mehta. While in Italy, Holt had the great privilege of playing under some of the world’s most renowned conductors including Luciano Berio, Georges Prêtre, James Conlon, Gerd Albrecht, Carlos Kleiber, Krzysztof Penderecki, Riccardo Chailly and Carlo Maria Giulini.

At the invitation of artistic director and conductor Nicola Rescigno, Holt became principal trumpet of the Dallas Opera Orchestra in 1989. He received distinguished opera service awards in 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2013. Holt’s orchestral discography includes numerous recordings with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Opera Orchestra and Voices of Change. He is a Shires Performing Artist and uses TrumCor mutes, for whom he is a consultant.