Mara Plotkin, enjoys an active career as an orchestral, chamber, and recording clarinetist. Mara has performed in such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Four Seasons Centre, Massey Hall, Glenn Gould Studio, and cultural institutes throughout North America. She performs regularly with San Francisco Bay Area's Freeway Philharmonic orchestras and has performed with chamber ensembles such as Chamber Music Society of Sacramento and Solo Vento as part of San Franisco Symphony's educational outreach program. Mara has performed in live broadcasts by CBC Radio's The Signal and has performed a variety of solo recitals in New York City, San Francisco, and Toronto.

Throughout her career, Mara has been recognized for outstanding performance and scholarship. In 2022, Mara published the first ever ballet orchestra excerpt books for clarinet, "The Ballet Orchestra Clarinetist: Volume 1 and Volume 2" containing excerpts from ballets by Tchaikovksy and Prokofiev. In 2015, she received the Ontario Arts Council Chalmers Professional Development Grant as well as scholarships to perform at internationally renowned music festivals such as Carmel Bach Festival, Music in the Mountains Wet Ink Festival, Banff Music Centre, Music at Menlo, and Orford Academy Orchestra. Mara teaches yoga and Pilates classes from her home studio and is a certified Balanced Body Barre Instructor.

Mara holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Toronto where she studied on full scholarship with Joaquin Valdepeñas and dedicated her research to the interpretation of orchestral ballet excerpts for clarinet. Mara received a Master of Music degree and Professional Studies Diploma from Mannes College of Music in New York City where she studied with Stephen Williamson and David Krakauer and was awarded the James E. Hughes award for excellence in performance. Mara received a Bachelor of Music degree from the Conservatory of Music at the University of the Pacific where she studied with Patricia Shands and graduated cum laude.


Dr. Mara Plotkin is in demand as a music clinician throughout North America and has taught at the University of Wyoming and University of the Pacific. Mara presents an interactive workshop entitled Movement for Musicians throughout the San Francisco Bay Area to professional musicians and students. She has taught several clinics on clarinet tone, technique and has taught private clarinet lessons for over ten years working with an array of students between the ages of 10 and 80. While sharing the knowledge and inspiration she received from her previous clarinet teachers, Mara hones students’ skills and helps them recognize their own artistry and musicianship. For inquiries about lessons, rates, and additional information, please view

Mara loves teaching high school and univerity level clarinet technique class, coaching chamber music ensembles, and coaching wind symphony clarinet and woodwind sectionals. In 2015 and 2014 Mara collaborated with clarinet professors to organize and produce Clarinet Day for prospective clarinet students at University of Toronto. Since 2009, Mara has worked as a clarinet specialist and private clarinet instructor at high schools and middle schools in the U.S. and Canada. Mara's passion for fitness led her to become a Pilates and yoga instructor. Mara is a trained dancer and she works with clients and students to use their bodies optimally and to increase strength and flexibility.