Faculty

Hugo Valverde

Precollege Faculty:
Classical Horn

Hugo Valverde, Second Horn of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra since 2017, enjoys a professional orchestral and solo career as a French horn player in the United States and his native Costa Rica.

As an orchestral player he has performed with the Costa Rican National Symphony Orchestra, the Classical Tahoe Festival Orchestra in Incline Village, Nevada, the Strings Music Festival Brass Ensemble in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, the Orchestra of the Americas on their Eastern Canada tour, the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, the New York City Ballet, and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

As a soloist, he performed Richard Strauss’s Concerto No. 1 with the Lynn Philharmonia Orchestra under Guillermo Figueroa and premiered the piece Tributo al Ciudadano Pablo by Marvin Camacho—the renowned Costa Rican composer and pioneer in contemporary music—with the Heredia Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica under Josué Jiménez. The piece was written for and dedicated to him by the composer, which reflects Hugo Valverde’s commitment to Latin American repertoire. He has also performed and premiered pieces by Costa Rican pianist and composer Manuel Matarrita, among other Latin American composers. He often performs chamber music concerts with his colleagues of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in the Carnegie Hall Concert Series at Weill Recital Hall and with the woodwind quintet Quinteto de Luz in Costa Rica at the National Music Institute, Teatro Espressivo, and the National Theatre of Costa Rica.

A dedicated educator, Mr. Valverde has been involved in pedagogical programs in the United States and Latin America, giving master classes for the Orchestra of the Americas, the Fundación Azteca Online Youth Orchestral program in Mexico, Yale University School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, New York University, Bard College Conservatory of Music, the National Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico, San Jose State University, Austin Peay University, New World School of the Arts, University of Panama School of Music, and the University of Costa Rica, among others. During the pandemic he created the project “Lockdown Warmups,” which offered more than 40 free master classes and professional online coaching from renowned musicians from the Berlin Philharmonic and New York Philharmonic Orchestras; the Chicago, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Jacksonville, and Seattle Symphony Orchestras; the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras; Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; the Bavarian, Frankfurt, and Hamburg Radio Symphonies; and other remarkable ones, for young Latin American horn players. He currently teaches in the Manhattan School of Music Precollege Division.

As a recording studio musician, Mr. Valverde has been part of two movie soundtracks: The Woman in the Window, with a score by Danny Elfman, produced by Fox 2000 Pictures and released by Netflix and 20th Century Studios, and Don’t Worry Darling, with a score by John Powell, produced by New Line Cinema. He also took part in the recording of Sir Paul McCartney’s song My Valentine with Michael Bublé and Mr. McCartney himself in the live recording session at the Manhattan Center Studios. The song was released in February 2022 on various music and video streaming platforms, including YouTube, Apple Music, Spotify, and Tidal.

As part of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra’s live recording and broadcast of George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, which won a Grammy Award for “Best Opera Recording” in 2021, Mr. Valverde received a certificate of participation as a member of the orchestra in recognition of the effort he put into the project.

Mr. Valverde studied at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston, Texas; Lynn University Conservatory of Music in Boca Raton, Florida; and the National Music Institute in San José, Costa Rica. His main teachers are Daniel León, Luis Murillo, Gregory Miller, and William VerMeulen.

In his spare time, Hugo enjoys road biking around New York City, New Jersey, and his native Costa Rica. He is an avid coffee aficionado, given that Costa Rica is well known for producing top-quality coffee.