Matthew Ernst is principal trumpet of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, appointed in 2016 by then-Music Director Edo de Waart. Previously, he was principal trumpet of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, a member of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, and acting principal trumpet of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. In the 2021 season, he serves as acting principal trumpet of The Santa Fe Opera Orchestra.
A dedicated educator, Mr. Ernst has held teaching positions at the Round Top Festival Institute, University of Virginia, University of New Orleans, and New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts. He and his wife, Janna Ernst, who serves as vocal coach for The Florentine Opera in Milwaukee, tour extensively as a duo, giving performances and master classes around the country.
Mr. Ernst pursued his bachelor of music degree from the University of Michigan, where he studied with William Campbell. He also received the school’s prestigious Emerging Artist Award in 2016. He earned two master of music degrees from Southern Methodist University—the first in trumpet performance, studying with Tom Booth of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and the second in wind conducting. In addition to his degree work, he was a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and attended the Pacific Music Festival and Brevard Music Center Summer Institute and Festival.
Matthew Ernst resides in Shorewood, Wisconsin, with Janna and their two daughters, Madeleine and Margaret.