Lamar Hunt Jr. has had a life filled with an almost dizzying array of roles and opportunities. He has always been quick to make the most of what he was given in order to give back to the community where he could. Throughout a life where he has worn so many hats, Lamar Hunt Jr. has always had a love of music. He considers classical music one of his life’s greatest passions. Ranging from Mozart and Brahms to Gregorian Chant and Dimitri Shostakovich, he believes that music—especially classical music—has a lot to teach us about business, faith, and the beauty of the world around us.
His own interest in music began early on. His mother played guitar, and she encouraged all of her children to develop an appreciation for music and to learn to play an instrument. In addition to learning a bit of piano, Lamar Hunt Jr. quickly found an aptitude for flute, which he continued to play through much of his early life. By fourth grade, he had learned to read music well on his own, and he studied under a musician from the Dallas Symphony in high school.
Despite his love of classical music, Lamar Hunt Jr. has far-ranging interests and influences as a musician. He remembers seeing the Beatles live in concert on two separate occasions, and he considers that a formative moment in his musical development. As the founder of the Loretto Foundation, he also helps to support Bluegrass music and the Bluegrass Heritage Foundation.
During his time at St. Mark’s School of Texas as a young man, Lamar Hunt Jr. played flute in both the band and orchestra, as well as participating in a variety of sports including football, track, basketball, and tennis. At the time, he hoped to be a professional tennis player, though he later said that his dream was snuffed after a junior high game against rising tennis star Bill Scanlon. Instead, Lamar Hunt Jr. chose to dedicate his early life to his love of music. He auditioned at five different universities with reputations for outstanding music programs and ultimately studied at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (UCCCM), where he enjoyed academic courses such as philosophy and psychology while also honing his musical talents. He graduated in 1979 with a Bachelor of Music Degree.
Kansas City Symphony & Summerfest
After graduation, Lamar Hunt Jr. joined the Kansas City Symphony as second flute, where he played for ten years while also teaching flute at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC). During his time with the Kansas City Symphony, he helped to start Summerfest, a local chamber music series that continues to put on regular concerts. Playing as part of the Kansas City Symphony presented a wide range of challenges and opportunities, including performing Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 to a standing-room only crowd at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. The Symphony also collaborated with the King Singers on a performance that was shown on national television and recorded Copland’s Symphony No. 3 at the Scottish Rite Temple. During his time with the Kansas City Symphony, Lamar Hunt Jr. played alto flute for Daphnis and Chloe by Maurice Ravel and recorded his own album of Bach’s flute sonatas.
In the years since his time with the Kansas City Symphony, Lamar Hunt Jr. has worked as a Licensed Professional Counselor and devoted much of his time to charitable work and to running the Loretto Companies. His father, Lamar Hunt, was the founder and longtime owner of the Kansas City, and Lamar Hunt Jr. continues to enjoy a beneficial interest in the Hunt Family Foundation as well as ownership of the Kansas City Mavericks ice hockey team. While he may not play music professionally any longer, his love of music has remained a constant throughout his life, and he believes that his time with the Symphony helped prepare him for his work as a businessman, an entrepreneur, and even a counselor.
Today, he dedicates himself to his business ventures and charitable organizations while still investing in and encouraging the growth of music whenever and wherever he can, such as through the Loretto Foundation’s ongoing support of the Bluegrass Heritage Foundation. He lives in Leawood, Kansas with his wife, Rita Mae Hunt, and he enjoys spending time with his nine children and eight grandchildren. He and Rita still enjoy attending concerts whenever they get the chance.