Home arrow Musicians Friday, 18 April 2014  
Festival Musicians

Sherie Aguirre, oboe, (on leave of absence, 2013), is presently Principal Oboe with the Virginia Symphony and the Virginia Opera. She graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Music in Performance and began a Master of Music program at Northwestern University. For the next eight years Ms. Aguirre worked outside of the United States as Principal Oboe with the Singapore Symphony, the Maracaibo Symphony in Venezuela and the Madrid Symphony in Spain. Ms. Aguirre appears regularly as soloist with the Virginia Symphony as well as the Chamber Music series of the Virginia Waterfront International Arts Festival. She also serves on the faculties of William and Mary College, Old Dominion University, the Governor's School for the Arts and Christopher Newport University. Ms. Aguirre appears on three Chamber Music Palm Beach CDs on the Klavier Music Production label.

Susan Moyer Bergeron (DMA), cello, has just completed her 6th season with the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra. The Lancaster PA native has called South Florida her home for 20 years, playing at times in most of the musical ensembles in the area, notably the New World Symphony (2 seasons), the Florida Philharmonic (10 seasons), Palm Beach Opera, Boca Raton Symphonia, Atlantic Classical Orchestra and the Southwest Florida Symphony to name a few. Ms. Bergeron studied at the New England Conservatory (Bachelors), the University of Akron (Masters) and the University of Miami (Doctorate of Musical Arts), performing concertos at each institution with the school orchestra as a result of winning the concerto competition. She has spent many summers performing in festivals all over the country including the Colorado Music Festival, Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute, Tanglewood, Kent/Blossom (OH), Yellow Barn (VT) and the Quartet Program (then in NY). As a special honor, Ms. Bergeron participated in the Solti Orchestral Seminar at Carnegie Hall in 1994 and performed chamber music in two special concerts with Sir Georg Solti while on tour with the New World Symphony in Great Britain. Ms. Bergeron lives in Sunrise with her husband Chuck and their 2 year old son Jack.  

Karen Fuller Dixon, flute, is a founding board member of the Palm Beach Chamber Music Festival and appears on all six of the Festival’s Chamber Music Palm Beach CDs on the Klavier Music Productions label. She is Principal Flute of the Palm Beach Opera Orchestra, a position she has held since 1989, and has just been appointed Principal Flute of Miami City Ballet beginning in the fall of 2013. She is also Principal Flute of Orchestra Miami as well as a member of the Boca Raton Symphonia and the Atlantic Classical Orchestra. During her 23 year tenure as Principal Flute of the Palm Beach Symphony, Ms Dixon appeared as a concerto soloist 4 times. She performed frequently with Ballet Florida, the Concert Association of Florida and the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra for over 15 years and was a member of the Naples Philharmonic for 10 years. She has also performed with Florida Grand Opera and the Sarasota Orchestra, and has appeared with the Munich Symphony, the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, New York City Opera, American Ballet Theatre and the Royal Ballet on their US tours. As a fellow with the New World Symphony, she was featured as a concerto soloist and toured South America and Europe. She is currently on the Chamber Music faculty at Lynn University Conservatory of Music and was Instructor of Flute at Palm Beach Atlantic University for six years. Both her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees are from the Manhattan School of Music. She also attended the Cleveland Institute of Music and Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where she was an Associate Instructor of Flute while pursuing a doctoral degree. Ms Dixon lives in Ft. Lauderdale with her husband and two children.

Michael Ellert, bassoon, began his studies in High School with William Polisi (NBC Symphony/New York Philharmonic/Metropolitan Opera), studied at the Juilliard School of Music in New York City with Harold Goltzer and in Israel with Mordechai Rechtman (Israel Philharmonic). He is Principal Bassoon of the Palm Beach Opera Orchestra, Southwest Florida Symphony (Fort Myers), Boca Raton Symphonia, Firenze and newly appointed Principal Bassoon of the Opus One Orchestra (Miami City Ballet). He is a former member of the Palm Beach Symphony, Israel Chamber Orchestra, Naples/Marco Philharmonic, Virginia Opera Orchestra, and has performed for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, New York City Opera and the New Jersey Symphony. As a free-lancer in Florida, Mr. Ellert has performed with such illustrious organizations as the Bolshoi Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Houston Grand Opera Touring Company, New York City Ballet, and the Moiseyev Ballet. Mr. Ellert is the Artist Faculty - Bassoon, Head of the Woodwind Department and Chamber Music Coordinator at Lynn University’s Conservatory of Music. He also maintains a small studio of private students in Palm Beach County. He is on the Board of Directors and is a founding member of the Palm Beach Chamber Music Festival, appearing on all six Chamber Music Palm Beach CDs on the Klavier Music Production label. 

Michael Forte, clarinet, is Principal Clarinet of the Palm Beach Opera Orchestra, and the Southwest Florida Symphony (Fort Myers) and is a member of the Boca Raton Symphonia. He is a former member of the Maracaibo Symphony in Venezuela and is a graduate of Syracuse University. He has appeared as soloist in the concertos of Mozart and Weber with the Maracaibo Symphony, the Southwest Florida Symphony, the Palm Beach Symphony and the Palm Beach Atlantic Symphony.   Mr. Forte teaches at Palm Beach Atlantic University and is an Artist-in-Residence at the Dreyfoos School of the Arts and the Bak Middle School of the Arts. Mr. Forte is on the Board of Directors and is a founding member of the Palm Beach Chamber Music Festival, appearing on all six Chamber Music Palm Beach CDs on the Klavier Music Production label.  

Dina Kostic, violin, is a native of Belgrade, Serbia. An established chamber and orchestral musician, she has held positions with the Florida Philharmonic, the New World Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago under Daniel Barenboim. She moved to the States at age fifteen, having received a full scholarship to study at Southern Methodist University and went on to earn a Master's Degree from Northwestern University. Ms. Kostic currently performs with various groups throughout the state of Florida, including the Palm Beach Opera, the Atlantic Classical Orchestra, Boca Symphonia, and as Assistant Concertmaster with the recently Grammy nominated Seraphic Fire and the Firebird Chamber Orchestra, along with regular appearances with the Naples Philharmonic and Sarasota Orchestras. Ms. Kostic has served as Adjunct Faculty at Barry University in Miami Shores since 2003, along with maintaining a private studio. This season marks her 11th summer with PBCMF. She appears on three Chamber Music Palm Beach CDs on the Klavier Music Production Label.

Lisa Leonard, piano, has been hailed as a pianist who “communicates deep artistic understanding through a powerful and virtuosic technique”. Ms. Leonard enjoys a diverse career as soloist, chamber musician, and educator. In 1990 at the age of 17, Ms. Leonard made her debut with the National Symphony Orchestra in six concerts at the Kennedy Center. She has appeared throughout Europe, Japan, Russia, and North America with many orchestras including recent performances with the Williamsburg Symphonia, Redlands Symphony Orchestra, the Oregon Mozart Players, and the Simon Bolivar Orchestra of Venezuela under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel. An active chamber musician, she has performed with members of the Berlin, Vienna, New York, Cleveland and Cincinnati Symphonies in addition to members of the American and Mendelssohn String Quartets in performances featured on National Public Radios’ “Performance Today” and “Command Performance” programs. A native of Washington D.C., Ms. Leonard received her M.M. and B.M. from the Manhattan School of Music and has served on the faculties of the North Carolina School of the Arts, the Meadowmount School of Music, and the Las Vegas Music Festival and is currently the head of the Graduate Instrumental Collaborative Piano Program at Lynn University. This year marks her tenth season with the Palm Beach Chamber Music Festival and appears on one of Chamber Music Palm Beach CDs on the Klavier Music Production Label.  

Jason Lindsay (DMA), bass,  joined the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra in 2005. Former Principal Bass with Palm Beach Opera and the Miami City Ballet Orchestra, Jason also performs regularly with the Naples Philharmonic. He has also been a member of the Spoleto Festival Orchestra and a 3 time participant in the Sarasota Music Festival. Jason, who serves on the Faculty of the University of North Florida, earned his Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Miami. A long time member of the PBCMF, Jason is heard on four Chamber Music Palm Beach CDs.  

Mei Mei Luo, violin, is recognized as one of South Florida's finest violinists. Until its closing, she was the assistant concertmaster of the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra, and served as concertmaster for the final concert in 2003. Miss Luo is the founding first violinist of the acclaimed Delray String Quartet, which performs wide-ranging repertoire every season throughout three south Florida counties. As a soloist, she has performed the Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn and Bruch violin concertos. She is concertmaster of Orchestra Miami, The Boca Raton Symphonia and the South Florida Philharmonic Orchestra, She will be the concertmaster for the Miami City Ballet Orchestra for the coming season, and has been a regular member of the Palm Beach Chamber Music Festival since 2000. Miss Luo has played as a member of the Philadelphia Concerto Soloists as well as an alternate for the Philadelphia Orchestra. Miss Luo earned her bachelor's degree from the Shanghai and Shenyang conservatory of music. She was the second prize winner of the National Youth Violin Competition of China, and is a graduate of the master's program at the University of Miami. She has recorded Dvorák with the Delray String Quartet on the Poinciana label, and also appears on the Klavier and Harmonia Mundi labels.

Rene Reder, viola, was born and raised in Tacoma, WA, where she attended the University of Puget Sound, earning her Bachelor of Music degree. She received her Master of Music degree and Performance Diploma from Temple University in Philadelphia. Ms. Reder has been a fellow with the New World Symphony and a member of the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra, the Virginia Symphony in Norfolk, is currently a member of the Alabama Symphony in Birmingham and following our Festival will be performing with the New Hampshire Music Festival for the third time. She appears on three Chamber Music Palm Beach CDs on the Klavier Music Production label.

Marc Reese, trumpet, internationally acclaimed trumpeter Marc Reese is best known for his near two decade tenure in the Empire Brass. He has also performed in the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland and Boston Symphony Orchestras. Mr. Reese has numerous recordings on Telarc, Sony and Naxos. As an educator, Mr. Reese serves as Assistant Dean and Brass Department Head for Lynn University's Conservatory of Music. He received his BM from Boston University and MM from the New England Conservatory. Visit MarcReese.com.

Ellen Tomasiewicz, horn, (on leave of absence 2013), earned a BM degree from Princeton University and a MM degree from the Manhattan School of Music. She is currently Principal Horn of the Naples Philharmonic and formerly performed as Principal Horn for the Nova Filharmonia Portuguese in Lisbon, Portugal. Chamber music experience includes the Manhattan Wind Quintet of New York. She has participated in summer festivals at Tanglewood, Los Angeles, Sarasota (New College), Yale University and Aspen. Ms. Tomasiewicz has been featured as soloist on recordings in Portugal and for CBS in the United States. Her most recent recording is a CD of premieres and commissions entitled When Angels Speak with the Manhattan Wind Quintet on the Albany Records label.

Guest Artists – 2013
Anthony Carlson, bassoon, now working with the St. Petersburg Opera Company in St. Petersburg, Florida, returned to the United States after holding the position of Second Bassoon in the Orquesta Sinfonica Sinaloa de las Artes in Mexico for six years. He has been a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the National Repertory Orchestra, the Orquesta Sinfonica de Mineria in Mexico City and the Crested Butte Music Festival Orchestra. He has also played on numerous occasions with the Chicago Symphony and the Florida Orchestra and has performed under conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Chrisoph von Dohnanyi, Loren Maazel and Kurt Masur. A native of Clearwater, Florida where he began his bassoon studies with Mark Sforzini, Anthony holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music and a Master of Music degree from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, where he studied with Patricia Rogers and William Winstead, respectively.

Dione Chandler (DMA), oboe, has served as Principal Oboist of the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra since 2002, appearing as concerto soloist in 2010. She plays regularly with Palm Beach Opera Orchestra, acting as Guest Principal in 2007 and 2011 with the opera. She has also performed with the Florida Orchestra, Sarasota Orchestra, Orlando Philharmonic, Naples Philharmonic, Miami City Ballet, Florida Grand Opera, and the Boca Raton Sinfonia. Ms Chandler has taught on the faculties of Texas Tech University and Florida International University. She is a graduate of Rice University and University of Southern California, and completed her Doctorate of Music at the Florida State University with a Certificate in College Teaching in December 2013. She has attended the Aspen Music Festival, Banff Chamber Music Festival, AIMS Festival in Graz, Austria, and appeared as a Guest Artist with the Palm Beach Chamber Music Festival since 2008. Ms. Chandler currently resides in St Petersburg, FL.

Monica Cheveresan, violin, is a native of Arad, Romania. She holds a Bachelor of Music from the Harid Conservatory and a Master of Music in Performance from Boston University. Since age nine, Monica has appeared as soloist with numerous orchestras in Romania, as well as the Harid Philharmonia and the New World Symphony as a concerto competition winner. Ms. Cheveresan has participated in the European International Youth Orchestra in Graz, Oberlin at Casalmaggiore, Tanglewood, and Musicorda Festivals, and has toured extensively throughout Europe and Asia with both Verbier Festival Orchestra and Verbier Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Neeme Järvi, Charles Dutoit, Joshua Bell and Gábor Takács-Nagy. Currently, Ms. Cheveresan is a member of the Palm Beach Opera Orchestra, Palm Beach Symphony, Palm Beach Pops, and Atlantic Classical Orchestra. She is excited to be part of the Palm Beach Chamber Music Festival for the fourth time.

Scott Ellington, clarinet, is a member of the Palm Beach Opera Orchestra and the Southwest Florida Symphony. He studied with Stanley Hasty at the Eastman School of Music, where he received his Bachelor of Music degree in 1982. He was also awarded the Performer's Certificate and while at Eastman was involved in numerous tours. Mr. Ellington played Principal Clarinet on an Eastman Wind Ensemble commercial recording, attended the Aspen Music Festival on a full scholarship and has also held the position of Associate Instructor of Clarinet at the Indiana University School of Music.

Deborah Fleisher, harp, is on the faculty of the Frost School of Music as lecturer in the Department of Instrumental Performance. Deborah began harp studies with her grandmother, Nettie Druzinsky, at age seven. She is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music where she studied with Marilyn Costello and received an Artists Diploma from the Peabody Institute as a student of Ruth Inglefield. Deborah also worked with Alice Chalifoux and Gloria Agostini. She was the harpist with the Baltimore Opera, Delaware Symphony, Concert Artists of Baltimore, Florida Grand Opera, Miami City Ballet, and Florida Sunshine Pops. She has performed at the Marlboro and Aspen Music Festivals. Deborah has been in the pit orchestras for such shows as Hello Dolly with Carol Channing, The King and I with Yul Brynner, Evita, Phantom, A Chorus Line, and The Fantastiks and performed with Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Lena Horne, Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Jose Carrerras, Andrea Boccelli, and Gladys Knight and the Pips. She has played with the Mineria Orquesta de Mexico, Sinfonica Nacionial de Santo Domingo, and Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional de Bolivia. She performs throughout South Florida from Key West to Naples to Palm Beach.

Richard Hancock, clarinet, is currently Principal Clarinetist of Orchestra Miami, the Opus One Orchestra (Miami City Ballet) as well as the Boca Raton Symphonia. Richard is on the faculty of Florida International University as clarinet instructor. In recent years, Richard has also served as Principal of the Atlantic Classical Orchestra, Florida Grand Opera, and Sunshine Pops and served as Principal Clarinetist of the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra and Florida Grand Opera from 1984 until its bankruptcy in 2003. Before coming to South Florida, he played in many orchestras in the U.S. and abroad, including Principal Clarinet in Mexico City, and extra clarinet in the Dallas and Chicago Symphony Orchestras for recordings and tours. Highlights of his musical life in South Florida have included concerto appearances with the FPO, their award winning recordings and numerous chamber music performances. Richard also plays touring Broadway shows, playing “Wicked”, “My Fair Lady” and “West Side Story” most recently. Aside from music, Richard and his family are very involved in the rescue of retired racing greyhounds.

Beth Larsen, flute, is Second Flute/Piccolo with the Palm Beach Opera Orchestra, the Palm Beach Symphony and the Southwest Florida Symphony. She also performs regularly with the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra as Third Flute/Piccolo. Ms. Larsen received a Bachelor of Music Degree from Florida State University and her Master of Music Degree from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Beth has enjoyed performing in the Palm Beach Chamber Music Festival during the 1998, 1999, and 2011 summer seasons and can be heard on their True Colors CD. In 2010, Ms. Larsen performed the Vivaldi Piccolo Concerto in C major with the Palm Beach Symphony, under the direction of Ramon Tebar. In 2009, Beth was the recipient of the Geoffrey Gilbert Memorial Scholarship Award, which is given annually by the Florida Flute Association in recognition to an outstanding performer. Beth has performed and toured extensively in Mexico, England and the Far East (Singapore and Malaysia). Among her many career highlights was winning the prestigious Myrna Brown National Flute Competition in Dallas, Texas. As the winner, she performed the Mozart Flute Concerto in D Major with the Dallas Chamber Orchestra. Currently, Beth maintains a busy, private flute studio in Ft. Myers where she lives with her flutist husband, Bill, and adorable red headed son, Connor. When she’s not playing her flute, Beth enjoys traveling, hiking, cooking, and doing yoga, and Jazzercise.

Christine Mounger (DMA), trombone, is currently Second Trombone with the Florida Grand Opera Orchestra and the Palm Beach Symphony. She has also performed with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Southwest Florida Symphony, Palm Beach Opera, and the New World Symphony, among others. In 2006, Ms. Mounger performed the US Premiere of Elgar Howarth’s Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra. Ms. Mounger studied with Joseph Alessi at The Juilliard School, where she received her M.M. degree in 2009. She also holds a B.M. from Stetson University and a D.M.A. from the University of Miami.

Maria Serkin (DMA), horn, is Principal Horn of the Florida Grand Opera and the Horn Professor at the New World School of the Arts and Miami Dade College. She was previously the Co-Principal Horn of the Sarasota Orchestra and a fellow with the New World Symphony in Miami Beach. While earning degrees from the Eastman School of Music, New England Conservatory and the Manhattan School of Music, Dr. Serkin performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Spoleto Festival USA, National Repertory Orchestra, Boston Early Music Festival, Pacific Music Festival, National Orchestral Institute and was a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center. She has also performed with the Palm Beach Opera, Naples Philharmonic Orchestra, Atlantic Classical Orchestra and the Miami City Ballet. An avid educator, Dr. Serkin has taught horn master classes extending from the University of Arkansas to The Juilliard School. Her research established a progressive method of transposition--a first in the advancement of horn methodology.

Erika Yamada, oboe, was born in Kyoto, Japan and grew up in the New Orleans area where her family moved when she was five. She is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where she studied with Richard Killmer and received a B.M. in performance and the Performer's Certificate. She was a member of the Florida Philharmonic and the Florida Grand Opera orchestras and has played principal oboe with the Miami Chamber Symphony, Orchestra Miami, the Miami City Ballet, the Atlantic Classical Orchestra, the Boca Raton Philharmonic Symphonia, and the Shinsei Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo, Japan. She has served on the faculties of the University of Miami, New World School of the Arts, Broward Community College, and S.U.N.Y. at Geneseo and is a panelist for the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts.


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