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 for the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Capella Hall and Philharmonic Hall of St. Petersburg, Russia, 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 recognitions 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.
In her continued quest for expression, Carlin found that photography is like chamber music, collaborating with others through the medium of light. Thus, she is also a professional photographer, holding staff positions at Music@Menlo Summer Festival, Seattle Symphony, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Her multidisciplinary talents have led to national invitations for artistic cross-pollination projects, including co-founding Hawaii International Music Festival as Artistic Program Director, spearheading projects that interweave classical music with Hawaiian inspirations. She has also worked on photo-music projects with Purdue Symphony Orchestra and Blueprint Ensemble.