Roberta Zalkind

Associate Principal Viola

Roberta Zalkind, Associate Principal Viola and Adjunct Professor at the University of Utah, began her musical career with the piano when she was eight years old. At sixteen, she decided to study the viola. Her father wanted to find the best teacher for her, which led her to Manuel Compinsky. He initially refused to teach her, insisting that she was "too old to begin playing a stringed instrument," but after hearing her play without any formal training, he took her as his student. After two years of intense study, she entered the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara and then the University of Southern California, both with full scholarships. Her most influential teachers include Compinsky, Frank Bundra, and Louis Kievman.

Roberta joined the Utah Symphony in 1981 and won the Associate Principal position in 1988. She has participated in numerous music festivals, notably the Grand Teton Music Festival, which she has played in for more than twenty years. Along with her symphony duties, she is an active viola teacher, soloist, and chamber musician in Salt Lake City, as well as a board member of the American String Teachers Association. She is married to Larry Zalkind, Principal Trombone, and they have three children—Benjamin, Matthew, and Aaron—as well as an adorable miniature poodle, Charley.