Mexican-born hornist Ernesto Tovar Torres is the fourth horn of The Philadelphia Orchestra and is in high demand as a soloist and orchestral and chamber musician. Before his tenure in Philadelphia, he served as second horn for the Atlanta Symphony from 2015 to 2017. 

Tovar has also performed with the Dallas Symphony, the Steamboat Springs String Festival, the Naples Philharmonic, the Bellingham Festival Orchestra (WA) and the Grand Rapids Symphony. 

Major music festival engagements include the Eastern Music Festival (NC), the Texas Music Festival, the Banff Master Class for Strings and Winds and Spoleto USA. Tovar was also a finalist in the 2013 International Horn Competition of America, where he performed the Glière Horn Concerto. 

As an educator, Tovar has presented master classes at various colleges and conservatories around the United States and abroad. Recent engagements have included the Curtis Institute of Music, Wichita State University, the University of Georgia at Athens and the Jerusalem Music Center in Israel.

Tovar received his training at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where he studied with William VerMeulen, international horn soloist and principal horn of the Houston Symphony. He holds a bachelor’s degree in horn performance from Oklahoma State University, where he studied with Lanette Lopez-Compton and graduated with honors in May 2014. 

Tovar currently resides in Philadelphia with his wife, Marde Meek, and their three dogs: Cleopatra, Samantha and Francis. Together they enjoy cycling, cooking fine Mexican cuisine, and traveling (when they can find a dog sitter). 

Biography courtesy of The Philadelphia Orchestra
Photo: Jason Bartlett