James Robert HUNTER

HUNTER, James Robert March 17, 1924 - December 12, 2012 Passed away peacefully in Victoria. Born in Picton, Ontario, James was a musician his entire life. He received his formal music education at the Toronto Conservatory. While serving in WW2 he was on tour with the Navy band in Calgary. There he met the lovely young violinist Winnifred Lacey. They were married in July 1946. Renowned nationally as a cellist James performed, recorded and taught in cities across the country. He was a member of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the CBC Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony, the Victoria Symphony and regularly received first call for the pit at performances of the National Ballet and operas. For a short while he played and recorded in England. After many demanding years in the 1960's in Vancouver he moved his family to Victoria where he was appointed senior cello instructor at the Conservatory and also played with the Symphony Orchestra. With contemporaries Robin Wood and Sydney Humphreys they founded the Trio Victoria and they became a popular west coast ensemble. After over 30 years at the Conservatory James retired. He is considered by some to have been the finest cello teacher in the country. Many of his former pupils are now performing professionally in major musical venues across Canada and abroad. James was a devoted husband and dedicated father. On his occasional day off he didn't hesitate to run back into the city from our country home to take us to a ball game. He taught us to swim in the Alouette river and summer days on the Island were spent at Matheson Lake, his second home. James is remembered well by his wife Winnifred, two sons, two daughters, their spouses, seven grandchildren and ten great grandchildren. He was a wonderful man, a virtuoso of the cello, and he will live long in the hearts of those that are his family, friends and musical legacy.
Published in Victoria Times-Colonist on Dec. 28, 2012