When he was eight years old, trombonist Larry Zalkind jumped at the chance to enter the music program at his local elementary school. Inspired by his favorite group, the Tijuana Brass, he had always wanted to play the trumpet. But the line moved in alphabetical order, and the trumpets were all taken by the Z’s. His music teacher Nora Graham settled the issue, declaring: “You look like a trombone player to me!” His fate sealed; Larry carried the enormous trombone case home from school with the help of a fellow third grader. After studying with Harold Diner and Norman Bernstein, Larry entered the California Institute of the Arts Youth program in the eighth grade. There he coached chamber music with Los Angeles Tubist Tommy Johnson, who became a mentor for decades. By the age of 17, Larry was studying with Robert Marsteller as a student at the University of Southern California. His other teachers included (chronologically): Byron Peebles, Jimmy Stamp, Ralph Sauer, Lewis Van Haney, Keith Brown, Arnold Jacobs and Terry Cravens.d
At USC, Larry double majored in Music Education and Music Performance, earning a master’s degree in Music. In the fall of 1980 Larry accepted the Trombone Teaching Assistant Position at the University of Michigan and began working with Dennis Smith. In 1981, while pursuing his doctorate in Music Performance, he won the audition to become the Principal Trombonist for the Utah Symphony. He held this position (simultaneously serving on the faculty at the University of Utah) until 2015, when he accepted the position of Trombone Professor at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.
Larry spent the 2009-2010 season performing as Acting Associate Principal Trombone with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Gustavo Dudamel’s first season with the orchestra. From 2014-2016 he played a temporary role as Principal Trombone in Symphoria (the Syracuse Symphony). He was a member of the Grand Teton Music Festival for 36 years, and has recorded with the Chicago, Atlanta and St. Louis Symphonies. He has performed as an extra with many other orchestras, including Seattle and Rochester.
He has toured, recorded, and performed extensively as a member of the Summit Brass on trombone and euphonium since 1990, In 1976, Larry won the Saunderson Award at the Coleman Chamber Music Competition. He has performed with Chamber Music Northwest in Portland, Oregon; Music of the Baroque in Chicago; the Sitka Music Festival in Alaska; the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder; the Eastern Trombone Workshop in Washington, D.C.; and the Elkhorn Music Festival in Sun Valley Idaho. In 2012, he was a resident artist with the Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra in Osaka, Japan.
Larry has been featured as a soloist with the Utah Symphony, the Fairbanks Symphony, the Southwest Symphony, the West Los Angeles Symphony, the Billings Symphony, the Twin Falls Symphony, the Macon Symphony, the Burbank Chamber Orchestra, and the Central Oregon Symphony, in addition to the New Sousa Band, the Ringgold Band, the Pierce Symphonic Winds, the U.S. Army Orchestra, the U.S. Army Band, the Denver Municipal Band and the Eastman Wind Ensemble. He played solo euphonium with the Long Beach Municipal Band for two years and has also been a member of the Tubadors tuba quartet.
Larry has released three solo albums on the Summit Records label. The first, Larry Zalkind Plays Baroque Music on the Trombone, features Baroque music on the trombone in different settings; his second solo CD, Encore!: Larry Zalkind Plays Encores on the Trombone, features different types of trombone encores performed with pianist Karlyn Bond. His latest album, Lost in the Stars: The Music of Bernstein, Weill & Sondheim, is collaboration with jazz singer Deborah Shulman and features some of Los Angeles’ finest jazz players, including Terry Trotter, Larry Koonse, Joe LaBarbera, Frank Morocco, Jeff Colella, and Ted Howe.
While playing with the Utah Symphony, Larry also served as a faculty member at the University of Utah for 34 years. He has acted as clinician in many music festivals around the U.S., including the International Trombone Association Trombone Festival, the Eastern Trombone Workshop, the 76+4 Trombone Workshop in Las Vegas, and the International Tuba-Euphonium Conference. Larry has also served on the faculty of the National Orchestra Institute in Maryland, Hartwick Summer Music Festival in New York, Music for All in Indianapolis, the Batiquitos Festival of the Arts in San Diego, the Grand Teton Orchestral Seminar in Wyoming, and the Marrowstone Music Festival in Port Townsend, Washington. In addition, he has held faculty positions at Cerritos College in California, Albion College in Michigan, Westminster College in Salt Lake City, and Weber State College in Ogden, Utah.
This year, Larry will again serve as clinician at the National Orchestra Institute at the University of Maryland, and the Music For All convention in Indianapolis. He will also serve as clinician for the Atlantic Music Festival and the Eastman Summer Trombone Institute, held on the Eastman Campus. He will provide master classes at Yale University, the University of Utah and Indiana University, among others.
Larry is a Yamaha Artist and has been heavily involved in the design and production of the 882OR large-bore tenor model, along with current alto trombone, both of which he currently plays.
Larry is married to Roberta Zalkind, former Utah Symphony Associate Principal Violist who now teaches at the Eastman Community Music School. They began dating as students at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California. They have three children: Ben, Matt, and Aaron, two of whom have followed in their parents’ footsteps and are pursuing music careers of their own.