The Musicians

Sherie Aguirre, oboe, 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. She is on leave of absence in 2017.

Susan Moyer Bergeron, cello, is a member of the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra. The Lancaster PA native has called South Florida her home for over 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. She studied at the New England Conservatory (Bachelors), the University of Akron (Masters) and the University of Miami (Doctor of Musical Arts), performing concertos at each institution with the school orchestra as a result of winning the concerto competition. Dr. Bergeron 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, she 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.  This is Dr. Bergeron’s 19th season with the Palm Beach Chamber Music Festival and she appears on five Chamber Music Palm Beach CDs on the Klavier Music Production label.  She lives in Sunrise with her husband, jazz bassist Chuck Bergeron, and their 7 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 currently Principal Flute of Miami City Ballet’s Opus One Orchestra as well as Principal Flute of the Palm Beach Opera Orchestra, a position she has held since 1989. She is also Principal Flute of the Boca Raton Symphonia and Orchestra Miami and a member of the Atlantic Classical Orchestra. During a 23 year tenure as Principal Flute of the Palm Beach Symphony, Ms. Dixon appeared as a concerto soloist 4 times. In addition, 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. Ms. Dixon holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Manhattan School of Music. She spent the first two years of her undergraduate degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music and also attended Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where she was an Associate Instructor of Flute while pursuing a doctoral degree. She is currently on the Chamber Music faculty at Lynn University Conservatory of Music, serves as Instructor of Flute at Palm Beach Atlantic University and is an Artist-in-Residence at Dreyfoos School of the Arts and Bak Middle School of the Arts in Palm Beach County. She has two children in college and, after living in Fort Lauderdale for 28 years, is looking forward to an upcoming move to Palm Beach County.

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 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 taught Bassoon at Lynn University’s Conservatory of Music for ten years and currently 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 Co-Principal Clarinet 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 is an Artist-in-Residence at the Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach and maintains a large private studio. 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.

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 from which she earned a Bachelor of Music degree, and went on to earn a Master of Music Degree from Northwestern University. Ms. Kostic is a core member of various groups throughout South Florida, including NuDeco Ensemble, Palm Beach Opera, the Atlantic Classical Orchestra and the Boca Symphonia. In addition, she performs regularly with Artis-Naples and the Sarasota Orchestra. She is also a former Assistant Concertmaster with the Grammy nominated Seraphic Fire and the Firebird Chamber Orchestra. 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 15th summer with PBCMF. She appears on three Chamber Music Palm Beach CDs on the Klavier Music Production Label.

Lisa Leonard, piano, 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 Radio’s “Performance Today” and “Command Performance” programs. A native of Washington D.C., Ms. Leonard received both her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees 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. She is currently the head of the Graduate Instrumental Collaborative Piano Program at Lynn University. She appears on one of Chamber Music Palm Beach CDs on the Klavier Music Production Label. Ms. Leonard is on leave of absence in 2017.

Mei Mei Luo, violin, is one of South Florida’s most well-known violinists. She was the Assistant Concertmaster of the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra until it’s closing, and served as Concertmaster for the final concert in 2003. Ms. 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. In addition to serving as a core member of the Palm Beach Chamber Music Festival since 2000, she is also Concertmaster of Orchestra Miami and Opus One (Miami City Ballet Orchestra) and has performed with the Boca Raton Symphonia. She has been a member of the Philadelphia Concerto Soloists as well as an alternate for the Philadelphia Orchestra. Ms. Luo earned her Bachelor’s Degree from the Shanghai and Shenyang Conservatory of Music and was the second prize winner of the National Youth Violin Competition in China. She earned her Master of Music degree from the University of Miami. Ms. Luo has recorded Dvorák with the Delray String Quartet on the Poinciana label, and also appears on the Klavier and Harmonia Mundi labels.

René 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, and is currently a member of the Alabama Symphony in Birmingham. She has also performed at the New Hampshire Music Festival. This is Rene’s 16th summer with the Palm Beach Chamber Music Festival and she appears on three Chamber Music Palm Beach CDs on the Klavier Music Production label.

Marc Reese, trumpet, is best known for his near two decade tenure in the Empire Brass. He has also performed with 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 Chair at Lynn University’s Conservatory of Music. He is also currently a member of the Florida Grand Opera Orchestra and the Palm Beach Symphony. He received his BM from Boston University and MM from the New England Conservatory. Mr. Reese is on leave of absence in 2017.

Ellen Tomasiewicz, horn, earned a Bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and a Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music. She is currently Principal Horn of the Naples Philharmonic and is the former 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.  Ms. Tomasiewicz is on leave of absence in 2017.