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, Lübeck Musik Hochschule in Germany for the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Capella Hall and Philharmonic Hall of St. Petersburg, Russia, Neal Blaisdell Concert Hall for Hawaii International Music Festival, and Seiji Ozawa Hall for the 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. Special merit recognition include semifinalist in the San Antonio International Piano Competition and Oberlin Piano International Competition.
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.
While 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. Photography is like chamber music through light, rather than sound. As a professional photographer, Carlin is the primary 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.
Her multidisciplinary talents have led to national invitations for artistic cross-pollination projects, including co-creating the Hawaii International Music Festival as Artistic Program Director, and individual concert projects with Purdue Symphony Orchestra, Summerfest Concerts, and Blueprint Ensemble.
Fostering perpetual learning for herself and others is her committed passion.