Marilynn on Mandolin #8 ~ Jan/Feb 2005


January is “break month.” I get time off between semesters @ RWU, Enigmatica isn’t rehearsing, and after I take down the Christmas tree and bid my kidsgood-bye, I’ve got a couple of weeks to revisit some of the great ideas that got shelved during the rush of autumn. This week-end, though, I return to the flow – redoing my RWU syllabi, rehearsing with Enigmatica, and sending you the newsletter in January, as promised.

This month I’ve been arranging new pieces for the Enigmatic 7, figuring out with Paulo Sa the Pan-American program we’ll be playing in Rio in March, and taking up my mandolin method project again. Although it’s painful to see how much of the method was lost in my November computer crash, it’s exciting to review the plan and appreciate its scope and dimensions all over again.


The dates are set –June 20-26, 2005– and the 2005 Guest Artists are (drum roll, please), Barry Mitterhof (mandolin) and his frequent duo-partner, Joe Selly (guitar). It’ll be Barry’s 3rd AMGuSS appearance– he’s been here once each decade, so he’s a natural to start us out on our 3rd! Well be sending flyers out in early February – be sure that we have your mailing address. Unfortunately our beloved Willow Hall townhouses will be under construction this summer, so we have to move our living space. Figuring out cost and location of this has delayed our flyers a bit. But the online AMGuSS application should be up by the end of the month. While you’re waiting, read the wrap-up of AMGuSS 2004 and dream of our 20th summer.


I’ve got new Brazilian articles and music up! Articles on Zequinha Abreu and Pixinguinha; “Carnaval of 1905” by Anacleto de Medeiros (in honor of its centenary); “A Flor Amorosa” by Joaquim Calado; and my mandolin quartet arrangement of the most famous choro of all, “Tico Tico”. Enjoy! If you’ve missed any previous issues of the newsletter, they’re all archived on the site as well.


The Pixinguinha article on the website was to have been my “Choro Connection” column in Mandolin Quarterly for January 2005. Unfortunately for mandolinists everywhere, Norman Levine has had to suspend publication of MQ indefinitely due to ill health. We all wish Norman the very best, and hope he’ll be out and about again very soon.

My Mandolin Magazine column, “A Classical Approach,” continues, and much of the material from earlier issues is getting folded into my method. The upcoming issue’s column is on “Shifting to Play Up the Neck” to help you negotiate the higher altitudes of your instrument.


March approaches, bringing my trip to Rio to perform with the Rio Trio and explore choro in the city of its birth. I’m continuing my Portuguese study, and Paulo has given me a pile of new choro to learn. I’ve also sent them some music – a quartet and duets by my RWU colleague and composer extraordinaire, Will Ayton, and “Meu Bandolim,” written for me by frequent performing partner, Brasilian pianist & composer Luiz Simas. To say I’m excited about this trip and my musical collaboration with the Rio Trio would be a decided understatement.


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 be out in March 2005. Until then, keep warm, and support your local live mandolinists (yes, that means yourself as well!)


Posted February 28th, 2005. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.
  • “Marilynn Mair performs Brazilian mandolin music… she plays the mandolin as an instrument for all occasions.”
    – Vaughn Watson, The Providence Journal (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)

    “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)

    “A sparkling concert… absolutely brilliant!”

    – Guitar Magazine (England)

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

    – Rick Massimo, The Providence Journal

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

    Marilynn Mair on mandolin…touches the deepest and most engaging reaches of the ancient and passionate ‘Latin soul’.

    – Carlos Agudelo, Billboard Magazine

    “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)

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

    – The Ottawa Citizen (Canada)

    “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 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)

    “Marilynn Mair é uma bandolinista americana de formação erudita”

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

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

    – Zupfmusik Magazin (Germany)

    “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)

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

    – Mike Caito, Providence Phoenix (USA)

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

    – Lincoln Center Out-Of-Doors (USA)