Carlin Ma

Aristic Program Director / Photographer / Pianist


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Seeking means of discovery and expression, Carlin Ma has dedicated her life to music and the arts, including solo piano, chamber music, photography, and multidisciplinary projects.  As a pianist, she has performed for audiences at prestigious venues including the Kennedy Center, Ravinia Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Philharmonic Hall of St. Petersburg, and Tanglewood Music Festival.  She finds it equally meaningful to initiate performances in local venues, including the inaugural Musicians@Google series in Seattle, outreach programs, and house concerts.

She holds a Master’s Degree of piano performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Bachelor’s and Performer’s Degree from Indiana University. Her mentors include Menahem Pressler, Yoshi Nagai, Arnaldo Cohen, Evelyne Brancart, Emile Naoumoff, and Karen Taylor.  She also had the privilege of working in masterclasses with Sergei Babayan, Karl-heinz Kämmerling, Robert Levin, Joseph Kalichstein, Jon Nakamatsu, and Angela Chang.

hile being an Associate Instructor at Indiana University, Carlin found passion in pedagogy, empowering a world of creative possibility  in others.  She later became a Primary Instructor at New Music School in San Francisco, and now resides in Seattle, where she has a private studio.

In her continued quest for expression, Carlin found that music and photography strike the same internal chord, merely on different instruments.  To her, photography is like chamber music through light, rather than sound. 

As a professional photographer, Carlin is the lead festival photographer for Music@Menlo and staff photographer for the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.  She enjoys photographing individuals, couples, families, and for larger institutions such as Seattle Symphony, Aspen Music Festival, Indiana University, and Chinese American International School.  Special merit recognitions include front page features in Symphony Magazine, 1st place Aspen Chamber of Commerce Photo Contest, and 3rd place in Tiffen Pawtraits Contest.

er multidisciplinary talents have led to national invitations for artistic cross-pollination projects, including with Purdue  Symphony Orchestra, Blueprint Ensemble, and Hawaii International Music Festival, where she is the Artistic Program Director, photographer, and pianist.

Fostering perpetual awareness and learning for herself and others is her committed passion.

More on her photography website

More on her music music website