Michael Ellert

Head of Winds
Michael Ellert


Phone: 561-237-7939
Fax: 561-237-9002

Office Location

de Hoernle Residence Hall

Professional Profile

Born, raised and educated in New York City, Ellert began his professional career as a bassoonist while still attending high school, performing with several small, semi-professional orchestras and making his first recording. After attending the Juilliard School, he toured with Mitch Miller and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and then won a position as principal bassoon with the Israel Chamber Orchestra in Tel Aviv, Israel. While in the ICO Ellert was featured as soloist in several works with the orchestra, including Haydn's Sinfonia Concertante and the Bach Cantata #202 and Suite #1 for Orchestra (which was performed to critical acclaim in both Israel and Europe).

In addition, he performed with many other Israeli orchestras, including the Jerusalem Symphony. Upon returning to New York in 1976, Ellert became a free-lance bassoonist and worked with such institutions as the New Jersey Symphony, New York City Opera, Virginia Opera, Shakespeare in the Park performances of a "Midsummer's Night Dream" with William Hurt, subbed in several Broadway shows, toured with National companies of "Pirates of Penzance" and "Sweeney Todd" and performed with many other organizations in the Northeast.

Since moving to Florida from New York City in 1983, Ellert has been principal bassoon with the Palm Beach Opera Orchestra, Palm Beach Symphony, Ballet Florida, Naples/Marco Philharmonic, Southwest Florida Symphony, South Florida Symphony and various touring companies including the Bolshoi Ballet, New York City Ballet and Moiseyev Ballet. Ellert performed as soloist with the Naples/Marco Philharmonic in the Vivaldi "Tempesta di Mare" Concerto for Flute, Oboe and Bassoon and with the Southwest Florida Symphony in the Mozart Concerto for Bassoon. He has also played principal bassoon in the Santo Domingo Festival Orchestra (Dominican Republic) where he also participated in a special chamber music evening performing with Philippe Entremont at the piano.

In addition to Ellert's orchestral performances in South Florida, he co-founded and has recorded five CDs with the Palm Beach Chamber Music Festival (Chamber Music Palm Beach). Four of these recordings have already been released on the Klavier Music Production Label to critical acclaim in international magazines with Ellert receiving special mention in a number of them, including the International Double Reed Society Magazine, The Double Reed. Some of these performances (both live and recorded) have been broadcast on NPR's "Performance Today" and many public radio stations around the country.

Ellert has also arranged a large number of, as yet unpublished, arrangements for woodwind quintet. Covering a wide variety of duties in the music field, Ellert has been the librarian for the Palm Beach Symphony and is currently the personnel manager of the Palm Beach Opera Orchestra and the Palm Beach Symphony.

Ellert has maintained a large private studio for many years in Palm Beach County and has had many high school students go on to receive large scholarships from state and national colleges and conservatories. In addition, he has been on the faculty of Palm Beach Atlantic University since 1985, has taught at Florida Atlantic University and Palm Beach Community College in the past and is an Artist-in-Residence at the Dreyfoos High School of the Performance in West Palm Beach. Ellert has been invited to do master classes at the University of Florida at their annual "Bassoooon Day" on Halloween.

Ellert began his bassoon studies with William Polisi while attending Bayside High School in New York City. William Polisi was principal bassoonist of the NBC Symphony, under Toscanini and then principal bassoonist of the New York Philharmonic. Upon graduation from high school, Ellert attended the Juilliard School of Music and studied with Harold Goltzer (assistant principal bassoonist of the New York Philharmonic). While in Israel, Ellert continued his studies with Mordechai Rechtman (principal bassoonist of the Israel Philharmonic). He has also attended master classes with many of America's greatest bassoonists, including Leonard Sharrow, John Miller and William Winstead. In addition Ellert hosted a master class for the woodwind section of the Israel Chamber Orchestra with Heinz Holliger.


  • Attended Juilliard School

Teaching Philosophy

Teaching, at its core, is inspiration. I strive to inspire my students to learn by example, not only in my playing but in my dedication to the art of communicating through music. Beginning with the production of a beautiful sound to the technical aplomb needed to execute the music and the understanding of the performance practices of different styles of music from the Baroque to the Contemporary, I attempt to guide my bassoon students to a well-rounded and self-sufficient way of progressing so they can apply these principles towards their careers in music.
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