Marilynn on Mandolin #5 ~ July/August 2004


Wow, has this been a busy & exciting couple of months! Biggest news is that the new CD by Enigmatica is now out!!

We had the CD Release concert @ AMGuSS on June 22, & are already getting rave reviews from listeners. The CD’s got Baroque, Brazilian, & Contemporary music and is tres cool! Run-don’t-walk to to my website to see the gorgeous cover, hear a couple of sound samples, and, heck, why not buy it as well!

Right now it also has the honor of being at the top of the Mandolin Café webpage –  be sure to check that out.

A couple of quotes from fans:
“I’ve been listening to the Enigmatica CD constantly – Beautiful!”
or, more succinctly,
“It be de BOMB!”

Enigmatica will be playing around New England this fall, and will perform @ the CMSA convention in Philadelphia mid-November.


The other news is the incredible 19th session of AMGuSS that wrapped up in late June. The students were fabulous and enthusiastic; guest artist Evan Marshall was fantastic performing and teaching; the faculty were outstanding, as always; and the 50+ person all-school orchestra rocked the house at the final concert with all players, 18-80, having a real good time.

A first-time AMGuSS student wrote me to say:
“AMGuSS 2004 was the most extraordinary musical week of my life. Thanks!”
That, and other heart-felt kudos, truly made my summer. Here’s a picture of the happy campers. AMGuSS 2005 will be the 20th!!  Stay tuned for updates on our exciting plans!


Adam Larrabee & I took our new duo on the road this summer to MA, RI & CT  and are excited by the music we’re making and audience reaction we’re getting. I’m sticking w/ mandolin, but Adam is a switch-hitter, playing guiar, mandolin, and mandocello. We come from quite different musical worlds and are having a great time finding places to hang our ensemble hat.

So far these include: Brazil, Vienna, Bach, Chopin, and the aptly titled, “Leave something unexplained”. We’ll be playing in New England this fall, and some of you will get to hear us @ the CMSA convention in Philadelphia in November.


The Summer issues are out, or nearly. My Mandolin Quarterly “Choro Connection” column is on Pixinguinha & the musical example is his classic choro, “Vou Vivendo”. My column for Mandolin Magazine, “A Classical Approach,” is on learning to read music, and features a duet etude from a 1920’s American mandolin method. You can subscribe to either magazine on the Mandolin Cafe website.


Well, if this issue wasn’t so jam-packed with cool stuff, the top story might have been the exciting news that I will be going to Brazil for the first time, in March, 2005, courtesy of an invitation from the Rio Trio & a travel grant from Roger Williams University. Paulo, Daniel, & Henrique, of Rio Trio, are hosting me & we’re forming a Pan-American musical coalition to give concerts, teach, research, hang out w/ other choristas & talk about choro & mandolin. And, as I am now 3/5 of the way through an intensive 30-hr.-week / 5-weekPortuguese Summer Program at UMass Dartmouth, I will actually be able to do some of the talking! “Eu vou ir do Brasil e vou tocar choro com o Rio Trio.”



And have I mentioned CMSA? The Classical Mandolin Society of America’s convention will be held in Philadelphia this year, from November 17-21. And on Novenber 16, the day before it begins, CMSA has asked me to give a full-day hands-on workshop on mandolin technique, for teachers, and also those who teach themselves or find themselves showing others how to play stuff on the mandolin. (Is that all of us?) It will be the coming-out party for the prototype of my upcoming comprehensive mandolin method, to be jam-packed with exercises, duets, explanations, history, guides for practicing everything you need to play better mandolin!

During the convention, I’ll also give a couple of workshops for attendees (choro and tremolo are good guesses for topics), and will be performing in the Friday and Saturday night concerts.Enigmatica will be performing on Saturday too, so y’all join us in Philadelphia in November for a great time!


I’d love to hear from you. If you know anyone who would like to get this update, have them send me their email. And thanks for reading!

The next issue of “MARILYNN ON MANDOLIN” will fly through cyberspace in September. Until then you can visit me at the website, or on a CD player in the privacy of your own home. And for August ~ hope to see you at the beach!


Posted August 27th, 2004. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.
  • “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)

    “She’s a fabulous player with a wonderfully clear and lyrical sound.”

    – The Ottawa Citizen (Canada)

    “A lovely concert! We estimate your spell-bound and enthusiastic audience at close to 1800 people…”

    – Lincoln Center Out-Of-Doors (USA)

    “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)

    “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)

    “Marilynn Mair lives up to her reputation as an excellent mandolinist, with clear tone, a beautiful tremolo, and creative expressiveness.”

    – Zupfmusik Magazin (Germany)

    “Mair travels by mandolin to Brazil and brilliance… her commitment to the music shines through.”

    – Rick Massimo, The Providence Journal

    “Mair is unstoppable… capable of evoking any landscape, past or present, you’d care to conjure.”

    – Mike Caito, Providence Phoenix (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 é uma bandolinista americana de formação erudita”

    — Paulo Eduardo Neves, Agenda do Samba Choro (Brasil)

    “Marilynn Mair performs Brazilian mandolin music… she plays the mandolin as an instrument for all occasions.”
    – Vaughn Watson, The Providence Journal (USA)

    “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)

    “A brilliant concert from beginning to end…The performance was extraordinary.”
    – La Rioja (Spain)

    “A sparkling concert… absolutely brilliant!”

    – Guitar Magazine (England)

    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)

    “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)