Mara studied cello at the Gnessin College of Music and the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow before coming to the U.S. in 1989. She serves as Principal Cello of the Northwest Sinfonietta Chamber Orchestra, and has performed with Seattle Symphony, Seattle Opera, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Cornish Chamber Series, Silsbee Piano Trio, the Seattle International Music Festival, and she has appeared regularly with Music of Remembrance since its inaugural year. As Vice President of the shop, she is especially helpful in achieving superior cello setup and tonal adjustment.