Celebrating 40 Years of Service with Linda Goldstein, viola

Celebrating 40 Years of Service with Linda Goldstein, viola

Linda Goldstein, voila, has been a member of the Houston Symphony since July 1981. This month, she retires from the orchestra after playing for nearly 40 years on the Jones Hall stage. Learn more about Linda and take a look back at her long career below.


“I began my musical studies at age 11 on a family violin that my grandparents purchased when they arrived in America from Europe. This violin was played by all my uncles and most of my cousins, and was finally passed down to me. My first teacher was actually their teacher as well! I followed my love of the deep, rich sounds of the lower register to become a violist when I was 19.”

All in the family

“I have an aunt who is an amateur violinist and violist. She is one of my greatest inspirations, instilling in me my great love of chamber music. My children are also musicians. Shoshi, my daughter, is also a violist, and my son, Michael, is a cellist.”

Musical inspiration

“My first teacher, Frits de Jonge, and my later teacher, Walter Trampler, inspired me the most. They both instilled in me the idea that music making is the most important facet of playing your instrument.”

Finding the perfect instrument

“My viola was created by the Italian craftsman Alta Vila around 1908. He was part of what was called the Neapolitan School of luthiers. As anyone who has ever glanced inside any string instrument knows, most luthiers stamp their names on the interiors of the instruments they make. Alta Vila was known for stamping the names of more famous contemporaries inside his instruments in order to make easier sales! In my case, he stamped in Gagliano Filius. I bought my instrument in New York City; I fell in love with it after playing only one scale! I usually play with an English bow made by William Hill from the same time period.”

Favorite pastimes

“Art, running, reading, traveling, cooking and spending time with my husband, Jerry, family and friends (including my dogs).”

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