Matthew Hunter | Picture: Stefan Höderath



Born in Bellaire (OH), USA
Member since 01.09.1996


Matthew Hunter was 26 when he »discovered« the viola. He was pursuing a career as a violinist, and had devised a special training programme for that instrument: if he could play Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in tune on the larger viola, then – according to his theory – the piece would be »child’s play« for him on the violin. He became so infatuated with the viola’s »dark chocolate« tone that he changed over to the deeper instrument. Shortly after that he won the Gee International Viola Competition. Hunter, who began music lessons at the age of seven, cites Julian Olevsky, Roman Totenberg (former assistant to Carl Flesch in Berlin), Michael Tree and Jaime Laredo as his formative teachers. 

In 1985 he became Masao Kawasaki’s assistant at Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. He also earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy at Dartmouth College, as well as a Master of Music and an Artist’s Diploma. Matthew Hunter came to the Berliner Philharmoniker from Ottawa, where from 1991-95 he was associate principal viola of Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra. He is a versatile musician, who also plays the guitar (for example in performances of Mahler’s Seventh Symphony), makes arrangements, and plays in several Philharmonic chamber ensembles, including the Berlin Philharmonic Stradivari Soloists.


Citation of Excellence of the University of Massachusetts (1998)
First prize: Gee International Viola Competition (1986)

Ensembles of the Berliner Philharmoniker

Philharmonic Stradivari Soloists Berlin
Berlin Philharmonic Piano Quartet
Berlin Philharmonic Virtuosi
Brahms Ensemble Berlin

Behind the music: Matthew Hunter
Video portrait

Video: Adam Janisch / Magdalena Zieba-Schwind

Violist Matthew Hunter grew up not far from Boston and attended his most wonderful concert at Boston Symphony Hall when he was only 8 years old. He tells us more about this historic concert hall and also what he would have done if he hadn’t been able to join the Berliner Philharmoniker.

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