John Holt

Professor of Trumpet

Brass Area Coordinator


Brass, Trumpet, Instrumental Studies

Contact Information

Office Location: 
Music Building
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John Holt is professor of trumpet. 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. This award highlights “a full-time University faculty member whose publications, performances, or exhibitions in the literary or creative arts have had the greatest societal impact”.

The consummate musical artist, Holt has appeared as a soloist with orchestras throughout the United States and Europe. He has two opera excerpt books published by Harold Gore Publishing, Trumpet Excerpts From Italian Operas in 2018 and Trumpet Excerpts From European Operas in 2020.  His CD recording Facets 4released by the International Trumpet Guild in 2016, was Holt’s eighth solo CD recording. 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, Texas, Holt began studying trumpet at the age of 12 with Richard Giangiulio, former principal trumpet of the Dallas Symphony. 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, Zubin Mehta, music director. While in Italy, Holt had the great privilege of playing under some of the world’s most renowned conductors including Luciano Berio, Georges Prétre, James Conlon, Gerd Albrecht, Carlos Kleiber, Krzysztof Penderecki, Riccordo 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, 2014 and 2019. Holt’s orchestral discography includes numerous recordings with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Opera Orchestra and The Voices of Change.