Sheila Popkin grew up in Princeton, New Jersey. Inspired by her father’s chamber music evenings in their living room, she decided at age 5 that she wanted to play the double bass. As this was impractical for such a small child, she was given a violin first, then a cello, a recorder, a trombone, a saxophone, a flute, a french horn, and then, at age 14, a bassoon. The bassoon stuck, and she went on to study it at the North Carolina School of the Arts, The Juilliard School and the Curtis Institute, before taking it with her to Norway in 1991 to begin her professional career. Sheila worked with the Bergen Philharmonic and the Norwegian Radio Orchestra for many years, as well as most of the other orchestras in Norway (and a couple in Sweden) before joining the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra as Principal Bassoon in 2006.
She continues to play with as many orchestras and ensembles as will have her.