Welcome to Marilynn’s webpage!

For nearly four decades Marilynn Mair has played music across the globe, released two dozen solo and ensemble recordings, published three method books, written countless columns, and taught as a Professor of Music at Roger Williams University. She has dedicated herself to establishing the mandolin as an instrument of importance, for her lifetime and the future. Learn from her journey here. para portugues… Read More »

Posted March 18th, 2018


Marilynn heading back to Rio!

Marilynn returns to Rio for the last half of April, to play and write choro, and join celebrations for the National Day of Choro (aka Pixinguinha’s birthday) and Jacob do Bandolim’s centenary. Birdland last month, Brazil next–transformation seems inevitable.

Posted March 18th, 2018


Join Marilynn for AMGuSS June 25-30, 2018!

Marilynn & Uncommon Strings invite you to the 26th American Mandolin & Guitar Summer School, June 25-30, 2018, on the waterfront campus of Roger Williams University, Bristol, Rhode Island.

At AMGuSS we create musical experiences together. Click for more information on AMGuSS and our fabulous faculty!

AMGuSS registration is limited to 35. You can register here

Or email email hidden; JavaScript is requiredif you want to ask a question.

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Posted March 16th, 2018


Study privately with Marilynn – July 9-13, 2018!

How would you like to have 5 private lessons with Marilynn? Plus 5 of her small group classes and your own practice room, all while enjoying a week in a bucolic seaside town in Maine overflowing with music. Marilynn will once again host her mandolin week as part of the legendary “SummerKeys” in Lubec, Maine. Enrollment is limited to 5, maybe 6 students. You can also join students on other instruments in faculty-coached chamber ensembles.

If you love Marilynn’s “The Complete Mandolinist” method book, take the next step and access her expertise directly in this rare personal private-lesson setting.  Click here for more information.

Or click here to register on the SummerKeys webpage.

Posted March 15th, 2018

Enigmatica – check out the update!

Enigmatica has a new look and has increased from 8 to 9 players, adding a 7-string guitar. Check out the page update here!


Posted March 14th, 2018


Marilynn joins 2018 Mandolin Mondays

Thanks to Scott Tichenor’s Mandolin Cafe, and David Benedict, creator of the “Mandolin Mondays” series, here’s my solo-mandolin arrangement and performance of Chiquinha Gonzaga’s “Gaucho.”

Posted January 15th, 2018

Bossa magazine article & interview

The October 2017 issue of Bossa Brazilian Music online  focused on Choro music, and included an interview with Marilynn about her involvement with Choro, and an article she wrote, “The French Connection: From Chopin to Choro.” Click the links above to download the articles, or click on the magazine’s title to read the whole issue online.

Posted November 30th, 2017

Need a unique gift for a music lover?

You can now buy all of Marilynn’s CDs and books on Amazon. They are listed by many sellers, including Marilynn’s own company, Uncommon Strings. Amazon ships worldwide so they are the convenient choice if you live outside the USA or Canada.

Click here for the CDs.

Click here for the books.

Posted November 28th, 2017

Back from Macau (China)

Marilynn performed in China, for the 100-anniversary performance of the opera “Eine Florentinische Tragodie,” written by Alexander Zemlinsky, with a libretto by Oscar Wilde. And while it was an intriguing new musical challenge to play with a 75-person orchestra under a good conductor on the other side of the world, chamber music will always be Marilynn’s first love.

Posted August 17th, 2017

Marilynn’s new book is out!

Mel Bay has published their 3rd book by Marilynn!

The 100 – Techniques & Exercises for Mandolinists is a compendium of thought-provoking discoveries and theories developed over the course of her career. This is Marilynn’s most personal method book to date, and gives a look into the way professional musicians practice, work out repertoire, and develop the interpretive skills to bring their music to life.

Order one directly from Mel Bay! Or you can buy a copy on Amazon.

Posted July 23rd, 2017
  • "Marilynn Mair performs Brazilian mandolin music... she plays the mandolin as an instrument for all occasions." – Vaughn Watson, The Providence Journal (USA)
    "She’s a fabulous player with a wonderfully clear and lyrical sound." – The Ottawa Citizen (Canada)
    "Smudging the lines between folk and classical is an intrepid endeavor... Mair's a superb mandolin player who has brought the instrument to unexpected places..." - Jim Macnie, The Providence Phoenix (USA)
    "Marilynn Mair has always had the keen ability to balance classical mandolin traditions and repertoire, while constantly breaking new musical ground…a superb and versatile mandolinist and composer." - – Butch Baldassari, Mandolin Magazine (USA)
    "Stepping back to the 18th-century masterworks gave her the opportunity to highlight her technique with a fresh light... her playing is thoughtful, vibrant and a delight to listen to." -- Terence Pender, Mandolin Quarterly (USA)
    Marilynn Mair on mandolin...touches the deepest and most engaging reaches of the ancient and passionate 'Latin soul'. - Carlos Agudelo, Billboard Magazine
    "Marilynn Mair acquits herself very well indeed, a most accomplished player, able to deal with the many intricacies the repertoire demands of her." - Chris Kilvington, Classical Guitar (England)
    "The final repeat of the melody transmitted a strong feeling of peace and tenderness that escaped no one in the audience. It is this sensitivity and subtleness that characterized the overall performance." - Brian Hodel, Guitar Review (USA)
    "Marilynn Mair é uma bandolinista americana de formação erudita" -- Paulo Eduardo Neves, Agenda do Samba Choro (Brasil)
    "Mair is unstoppable… capable of evoking any landscape, past or present, you’d care to conjure." – Mike Caito, Providence Phoenix (USA)
    "Marilynn Mair lives up to her reputation as an excellent mandolinist, with clear tone, a beautiful tremolo, and creative expressiveness." – Zupfmusik Magazin (Germany)
    Bring a talented ensemble of gifted musicians together playing some of the great concertos and chamber music pieces of the 1700s, present the extraordinary classical mandolinist Marilynn Mair front and center, and you have a rare combination of the right musicians performing the right music at the right time. – David McCarty, Mandolin Magazine (USA)
    "A brilliant concert from beginning to end…The performance was extraordinary." – La Rioja (Spain)
    "A sparkling concert… absolutely brilliant!" – Guitar Magazine (England)
    "Mair displays an exceptionally gifted approach to this music, using her formidable mandolin technique with grace and sensitivity… It’s the next best thing to a trip to Rio." – David McCarty, Mandolin Magazine (USA)
    "A lovely concert! We estimate your spell-bound and enthusiastic audience at close to 1800 people…" - Lincoln Center Out-Of-Doors (USA)
    "Mair travels by mandolin to Brazil and brilliance... her commitment to the music shines through." - Rick Massimo, The Providence Journal