Meraki is a chamber ensemble co-founded by former classmates, Anastasia Christofakis, clarinet, and Elizabeth G. Hill, piano. They are recipients of Chamber Music America’s 2018 Classical Commissioning Grant for their current collaboration with award-winning composer, Jerod Tate. The ensemble is dedicated to awakening cultural compassion through music. Meraki’s recurring focus is the music of “Essence” which evokes the culture and history of people through their folk sound and musical language.
Anastasia Christofakis enjoys an active career as a soloist, chamber musician, and educator. Her musical collaborations have led to performances at the International Clarinet Association’s ClarinetFest in Ostend, Belgium, the Florida State University Festival of New Music, as well as at the Berklee College of Music. Anastasia is the recipient of several awards, most recently an artist residency through the National Parks Arts Foundation as well as a Montgomery County Artists and Scholars Award. She was granted the Presser Foundation Music Award for her project on Armenian music, where she studied and conducted research in Armenia on both traditional and contemporary music. Anastasia is currently on the faculty at Furman University. She received her Doctor of Music degree in Clarinet Performance at Florida State University, her Master’s degree from Roosevelt University, and Bachelor’s degree in Music from James Madison University. Anastasia is a Royal Global Performing Artist.
A recognized leader in contemporary music advocacy, pianist Elizabeth G. Hill has performed across the US and Europe in service of her life’s work: joining cultures together through music. In addition to her role as co-founder of Meraki, Elizabeth is also the pianist for Balance Campaign, a chamber group whose focus lies exclusively on commissioning and performing works by underrepresented composers. She currently serves as the Collaborative Pianist for the National Philharmonic Chorale and Chamber Series. Also an active pedagogue Elizabeth is a private piano teacher in the Washington, DC area, and is a member of the Collaborative Piano Faculty at the Heifetz International Music Institute. Originally raised in Anchorage, Alaska, Elizabeth holds degrees from Mary Baldwin College (B.A.), James Madison University (M.M.), and The Catholic University of America (D.M.A. with a specialization in Chamber Music).
For Track 7, "No Progress Without Loss, every new beginning ...", the speakers are: Blake Buehler, Alexis Burson, Chandler Klotz, Caitlin Roberson, Rachel Shealy, Miranda Thomas, and Adib Young.
Audio Recording Engineer: Martin Aigner Recorded at: Furman University, Daniel Recital Hall
The commission of “Heloha Okchamali” was made possible by the Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Program, with generous funding provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Anastasia Christofakis is supported in part by funding from the Furman University Research and Professional Growth Grant.
Elizabeth G. Hill is supported in part by funding from the Montgomery County Government and the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County.
Meraki - μεράκι [may-rah-kee]: "The soul, creativity, or love put into something; the essence of yourself that you put into your work." New works for clarinet and piano by Anthony R. Green, Jamie Wind Whitmarsh, and Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate.