Roberta Zalkind, Associate Principal Violist of the Utah Symphony, began her studies on the piano at the age of eight. At the age of sixteen, she began to play the viola, studying with Manuel Compinsky. After one year on the viola she entered the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, entering the University of Southern California the following autumn. During her first semester, she became the violist of the Vuilluame String Quartet, which went on to participate in the Munich Competition sponsored by the U.S. State Department, as well as placing in the Coleman Chamber Music Competition. While in the Vuilluame String Quartet, Zalkind attended the Yale School of Music Chamber Music Seminar in Norfolk Connecticut, where she studied chamber music with the Tokyo String Quartet and studied viola with Rafael Hillyer.
In 1981, after spending a year attending the University of Michigan as the violist in the Honors String Quartet and as a student of Francis Bundra, Zalkind became a member of the Utah Symphony. She became the Associate Principal Violist of the Utah Symphony in 1988. She has participated in the Colorado Music Festival and The Elkhorn Music Festival. For the past 20 years, she has been a regular member of the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson, Wyoming. Along with her duties in the Utah Symphony, she is a very active viola teacher, soloist, and chamber musician in Salt Lake City. Ms. Zalkind has been on the faculty at the University of Utah since 1987.