Mimi Carlson is a charter member of Symphony Silicon Valley. She was Principal Flute with Ballet San Jose, and a member of the San Jose Symphony from 1973 until its final season in 2001. A longtime former member of the Midsummer Mozart Festival Orchestra and founder of the RedWoodWinds Quintet, she has also performed on flute and piccolo with many other Bay Area musical groups, including Opera San Jose, American Musical Theater of San Jose, San Francisco Merola Opera Orchestra, the Monterey Symphony and the Women’s Philharmonic. She has been a soloist with the San Jose Symphony, Master Sinfonia Chamber Orchestra, Monterey Symphony, New Sousa Band, Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra, Ohlone Wind Orchestra, Santa Clara University Orchestra, San Jose Chamber Orchestra, and the Austin (Minnesota) Symphony. In 2009 she was honored to be included as a charter member of the Austin High School Music Hall of Fame.
During her high school years, Carlson studied flute and piano at Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan and with Emil Opava of the Minnesota Symphony in Minneapolis. She continued her studies at Carleton College in Minnesota, where she earned a BA degree. Carlson has been a flute instructor at Santa Clara University since 1978. .