Former Seattle bassoonist Lynette Diers Cohen dies

Northwest native Lynette Diers Cohen, a Cleveland-based bassoonist who trained with the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra and later returned to play here as a professional, died of cancer Aug. 19 at her home. She was 55.

Seattle music lovers will remember her appearances with the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival's annual residencies at Meany Hall, where she played regularly from the mid-'80s through 1992. Her performance credits range from orchestras of Atlanta and Cleveland to such chamber ensembles as the Theatre Chamber Players, with which she played at the Kennedy Center and the Marlboro Festival.

She was remembered last week as "a noble colleague, a beautiful musician and a most extraordinary human being" by the noted pianist Leon Fleisher, who performed with her in the Theatre Chamber Players. She didn't give up easily; her brother, Greg Diers of Seattle, says, "She was still hiking in the hills just three weeks before her death. She wanted to make the most of every day."

Mrs. Cohen was married to the Cleveland Orchestra's principal clarinetist, Franklin Cohen. She is also survived by the couple's two children, and by her mother, Ivy Diers, who lives in Seattle. No local services are planned.

— Melinda Bargreen, Seattle Times music critic