Matthew Ernst currently serves as Principal Trumpet of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, appointed by Edo de Waart in 2016. He was previously the Principal Trumpet of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Pops. Matthew was also a member of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and has served as Acting Principal Trumpet for the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. Matthew has held teaching positions at Northwestern University, the University of Virginia, the University of New Orleans, the Round Top Festival, and the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts.
Matthew pursued his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Michigan. He also received the school's prestigious Emerging Artist Award. He earned two Master of Music degrees from Southern Methodist University— the first in trumpet performance and the second in wind conducting. In addition to his degree work, Matthew was also a fellow at Tanglewood Music Center and attended the Pacific Music Festival and Brevard Music Center.