Committed to Opera

Hugo A. Valverde, Acting Third Horn

Hugo Valverde carries a professional orchestral and solo career in the United States and his native Costa Rica as a French horn player, currently holding the full-time and tenured position of Second Horn with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra since 2017.

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.

In his role as a soloist he performed Richard Strauss’ Concerto No. 1 with the Lynn Philharmonia Orchestra under Guillermo Figueroa and he premiered the piece “Tributo al Ciudadano Pablo” by Marvin Camacho -who is a well renowned Costa Rican composer and pioneer in new contemporary music- with the “Heredia Symphony Orchestra” of Costa Rica under Josué Jiménez. The piece is written and dedicated to him by the composer and it reflects Hugo Valverde’s commitment to Latin American repertoire, having performed and premiered pieces by Manuel Matarrita -Costa Rican pianist and composer-, and other Latin American composers. He often performs chamber music concerts with his colleagues of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra at the Carnegie Hall Concert Series at Weill Recital Hall and also 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 masterclasses for the Orchestra of the Americas, Yale University School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, New York University, Bard College Conservatory of Music, National Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico, The Blackburn Music Academy in Napa Valley, 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 40+ free masterclasses and professional online coaching from renown musicians from the Berlin Philharmonic and New York Philharmonic Orchestras, Chicago Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, Seattle Symphony Orchestras, The Cleveland and The Philadelphia Orchestras, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Bavarian Radio, Frankfurt Radio, Hamburg, West Germany Radio Symphonies, and other remarkable ones, for young Latin American horn players. He currently teaches at the Precollege Division at Manhattan School of Music.

As a recording studio musician, Mr. Valverde has been part of two soundtracks

for movies called “The Woman in the Window”, produced by Fox 2000 Pictures, released by Netflix and 20th Century Studios and music composed by Danny Elfman; and the other one is “Don’t Worry Darling”, produced by New Line Cinema, and music by John Powell. He was also part of the recording of Sir Paul McCartney’s song “My Valentine” with Michael Bublé in the solo voice and Mr. McCartney himself in the live recording session at the Manhattan Center Studios. The song was released in February 2022 in various music and video streaming platforms like YouTube, Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, etc.

The live recording and broadcast made in 2019 of George Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess” was chosen as the recipient of the “Best Opera Recording” award in the “63rd Grammy Award Ceremony”. In March 14th, 2021, The Metropolitan Opera Company won the “The Recording Academy” Grammy, and Mr. Valverde was part of this broadcast and recording, who was also given a certificate of participation as a member of The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in recognition of his effort 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 Central Park, New York City area, New Jersey and his native Costa Rica, and is an avid coffee aficionado, given the fact that Costa Rica is known worldwide for the top-quality coffee they produce.