Dr. Hal Ott is professor of flute at Central Washington University, where he was honored with the title of Distinguished Professor. He currently serves as principal flute with both the Yakima Symphony Orchestra and the Malibu Coast Chamber Orchestra. Dr. Ott earned a Bachelor of Music Education (summa cum laude) from Bradley University, a Master of Music from the University of Illinois and a Doctor of Music from the Florida State University. His teachers include Charles DeLaney, Alexander Murray and Nancy Neidlinger-Gillett.
Dr. Ott has presented clinics, adjudicated and performed in recital and as a concerto soloist on both the flute and baroque flute throughout the United States, Europe and the Peoples’ Republic of China. He was a finalist in the Erwin Bodkey Early Music Competiton in Boston, a winner of the National Flute Association Professional Performers’ Competition, and he served as program chair for the NFA, creating an exciting five-day convention in Dallas for six thousand NFA members.
Dr. Ott is an author of the widely used pedagogical textbook, Teaching Woodwinds, published by G. Schirmer, and he has also written numerous articles for Flute Talk Magazine and The National Flutist Quarterly. He has seven CDs; one (Chamber Works by Maria Newman) received a 2010 Pulitzer Prize nomination by National Public Radio’s Record Shelf commentator and critic, Jim Svejda. In the summer of 2016, Todd Gorman of the American Record Guide wrote that “Hal Ott plays with a full, rich, almost trumpet-like sound in the low register and appears as a brilliant silver light in the high range.”
Hal Ott resides in Ellensburg with his wife, Gay, director of choral activities at Ellensburg High school. He and Gay have four children, one of whom is a teacher in the Wahluke School District, one who proudly serves in the United States Marine Corps, twins that are headed to college, and a son-in-law who is the campaign manager for Congressman Dan Newhouse.