You’ll find a short 1-paragraph bio by clicking the “Marilynn” menu heading.
Marilynn Mair has shown the world what the mandolin can achieve in the hands of a skillful artist.
Internationally praised for her beautiful tone, versatile technique, and impeccable choice of repertoire, she established classical mandolin in chamber music circles worldwide. She then branched out to playing choro in Rio, jazz at Berklee, avant garde premieres in Europe and Japan and writing her own compositions. Marilynn is a mandolinist, it’s how she enters the world; through her concerts, recordings, and books, she has created a potent legacy for generations of players and audiences to come.
Marilynn has been performing internationally for three decades, appearing at Carnegie Hall, the White House, the Newport Music Festival, Lincoln Center, Sala Cecelia Mirelles, the Palacio de Cristal, Tivoli Concert Hall, the Palffy Palace, Schloss Eggersberg, the Kennedy Center, the Banff Centre for the Arts, and hundreds of other venues. She has represented the United States at international music festivals in Italy, France, Spain, England, Austria, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, and Japan, earning the title, “First Lady of the Mandolin.” As a performer, she has inspired, recorded, and performed significant new works for mandolin, by composers that include Ernst Krenek, Guido Santorsola, Evan Ziporyn, Daniel Pinkham, Ann Carr Boyd, Sigfried Behrend, David Jaffe, Will Ayton, Luiz Simas, Robert N. Martel, Adam Larrabee, and others.
Marilynn performs in a number of different duos, partnering with Brazilian pianist Luiz Simas, classical pianist Nancy Nicholson, guitarist/composer Robert N. Martel, guitarist Robert Paul Sullivan, Swedish lutenist Mitch Nelin, 7-string guitarist Igor Nicholai, and others. Marilynn has also worked with a broad spectrum of musicians, from the Deutches Zupforchester and Musica Festiva Lincopensis, to Vinicius Dorin, Arismar do Espirito Santo, Paulo Sá, Radim Zenkl, Barry Mitterhof, Rudy Cipolla, Eddie “The Chief” Clearwater, and Duke Robbilard.
Marilynn directs and performs in several ensembles. She is co-founder and director of Enigmatica, a mandolin octet specializing in Baroque, Brazilian, and contemporary music, that has released two CDs in its 9-year history. For the past three years she has performed and recorded in Brazil with Água no Feijão, a Rio-based choro band. She is the Artistic Director of the American Mandolin & Guitar Orchestra, a group whose membership spans North America, and a member of the Roger Williams University Faculty Trio.
Over the course of her career she has released over a dozen highly acclaimed solo and ensemble CDs, and appeared on numerous compilations. Her most recent CD, “Meu Bandolim” (2009), recorded in the US and Rio, features Brazilian music and Marilynn’s Brazil-inspired originals. Her CDs are listen in the CD catalog and available for sale through this website.
Although best known as a performer and recording artist, Marilynn is held in high regard as a teacher and scholar. She has directed the American Mandolin & Guitar Summer School for decades, the only summer camp for adult mandolin students at it’s inception. She recently published a 224-page method book, The Complete Mandolinist, that has been receiving international acclaim from teachers and students alike. She has researched Brazilian choro extensively, and her articles on its history and music have been called the most complete choro resource available in English. Her bilingual choro method book for bandolim, written with Rio-based bandolimist and professor Paulo Sá, will soon be published. For over a decade Marilynn has also written a regular column, “A Classical Approach,” for Mandolin Magazine. Marilynn is a Professor of Music at Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island, where she teaches courses in music and cultural history, specializing in the Americas.
Marilynn began her mandolin studies with Hibbard Perry in Providence, Rhode Island, and continued them in Vienna with Professor Vincenz Hladky of the Vienna Conservatory. She has also studied in Germany with Takashi Ochi and Sigfried Behrend, in England with Hugo d’Alton and Jack Duarte, in Rio with Joel Nascimento, and with Cuban guitarist and composer Leo Brouwer, who called her the “angel of the tremolo.”
Marilynn is available for concerts, workshops, and other events. Please inquire here!