Owner and Founder of Hammer & Strings Conservatory, Dr. Karali Hunter is an award-winning performer and pedagogue based in Phoenix, AZ. Hunter’s reputation as a dynamic, sensitive, and passionate performer has led to solo and chamber performances across the country and internationally.
Hunter made her Carnegie Hall debut performance in 2011 after winning first prize in the American Protégé Piano and Strings Competition. She has studied with and performed for some of the world’s foremost musicians, including the legendary Ruth Slenczynska, Gary Graffman (Curtis Institute of Music), Frederic Chiu, and John Perry (USC). She was honored to perform Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with the Symphony of the Southwest and the West Valley Symphony as part of their 2018/2019 season and made her orchestral debut at the age of 15 as the featured soloist of the Magic Valley Youth Orchestra. Hunter is a highly sought-after teacher and pedagogue. She was awarded the StAR Award in 2008 by the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) for her “academic excellence, successful teaching experience and demonstrated leadership abilities.” Her students have gone on to compete, teach, and have been accepted to music programs at various colleges and universities. Student achievements include first place, alternate, and honorable mentions in the Arizona MTNA competition, followed by honorable mention in the Southwest Division MTNA competition; National Gold Medal from the Royal Conservatory Music Development Program (awarded to students achieving the highest mark in the country on their playing and theory assessments); second and third place awards from The American Protégé competition resulting in performances in Carnegie Hall; and many other awards in local and state competitions. She has given masterclasses and judged festivals and competitions across the western United States. Hunter co-presented at The Forum of the International Association for Word and Music Studies: Music and Sexuality, and she is involved in research involving Norwegian folk music and its appearances in classical Norwegian piano works. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Brigham Young University, studying with Jeffrey Shumway and Irene Peery-Fox; a Master of Music Degree from Indiana University, Jacobs School of Music with Karen Shaw; and a Doctorate Degree from Arizona State University under the direction of Baruch Meir.
Karali lives in Gilbert, Arizona with her husband Matthew, and sons Gavin and Cyrus.