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Nancy Zeltsman

Chair, Percussion | Marimba; Chamber Music Faculty

Nancy Zeltsman earned a B.M. in percussion from the New England Conservatory (NEC) where she studied with Vic Firth. Other important teachers were Robert Ayers, Ian Finkel and Dave Samuels. She was a fellow at Tanglewood Music Center in 1978.

Zeltsman is founder and artistic director of Zeltsman Marimba Festival, Inc. (2001–present;, and was co-founder of Marimolin, a violin/marimba duo (1985-1996, with Sharan Leventhal). Zeltsman has presented numerous marimba recitals and master classes throughout the U.S. and in Europe, Mexico and Japan. In 2005, she was one of two featured marimbists to perform Michael Tilson Thomas' Island Music with percussionists of the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) on three SFS subscription concerts at Davies Hall. Prior to that, she performed the work with percussionists of the New World Symphony in Miami and at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall. Zeltsman premiered William Thomas McKinley's marimba concerto, Childhood Memories, with Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) which has been released on CD. In addition, she has premiered more than 125 works for marimba solo and marimba within chamber music. Zeltsman was a jury member for the 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016 TROMP International Solo Percussion Competition, the 2003 International Marimba Competition for Students in Paris and the 2001 Belgium International Marimba Competition. She has recorded seven CDs—three CDs with Marimolin (Catalyst/BMG and GM Recordings), three solo marimba CDs and one duo marimba CD. Zeltsman has been broadcast on WGBH-Boston, WQXR-NY, WNYC, BBC-London and in Malmö, Sweden. She is the author of Four-Mallet Marimba Playing: A Musical Approach for All Levels (Hal Leonard Corporation), and was editor and project leader of Intermediate Masterworks for Marimba (2 volumes; C.F. Peters Corporation). Zeltsman is a Pearl/Adams artist and endorses the “Nancy Zeltsman Series” of Encore Mallets. More information can be found at

(Photo by Jeff Ragland)

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