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” that 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 their traditional and contemporary music. Dr. Christofakis is on faculty at Mount St. Mary’s University and at the InterHarmony International Music Festival in Acqui Terme, Italy. 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.
Elizabeth G. Hill is an accomplished soloist, chamber musician, orchestral pianist, and educator. Her recent concert appearances include performances for the Embassy Concert Series in Washington DC, the Center for Jewish History in New York, and the Robert-Schumann-Haus in Zwickau, Germany. As a devoted supporter of new music, her work ranges from solo to chamber performances, including premieres at the The Fringe Festival (Washington, DC), and the West Fork New Music Festival (Fairmont, WV). Elizabeth is also the Principal Pianist with Baltimore-based chamber orchestra, Symphony Number One; a group primarily devoted to performing substantial works by emerging composers. After receiving her early musical training in her hometown, Anchorage, Alaska, Elizabeth studied Piano Performance at Mary Baldwin College and James Madison University. She earned the Doctorate in Musical Arts (DMA) in Chamber Music at The Catholic University of America.
Selected Past Performances:
“Kammermusik am Mittag” Series | Goethe-Institut | Washington, DC | April 2018
Northeast Regional Conference of the College Music Society | University of Delaware | January 2018
The Church of the Intercession | New York, NY | November 2017
Oklahoma City University | Oklahoma City, OK | April 2017
Amro Steinway Gallery | Memphis, TN | September 2016
University of Arkansas-Fort Smith | Fort Smith, AR | September 2016
Mary Baldwin College | Staunton, VA | September 2016
James Madison University | Harrisonburg, VA | April 2016
Florida State University | Tallahassee, FL | April 2015
Selected Educational and Community Outreach:
Oklahoma City University | Oklahoma City, OK | Clarinet and piano masterclasses, composers forum
Mary Baldwin College | Staunton, VA | Latin-American music discussion
Selected Media Appearances:
Chamber Music America | Press Release | July 2018
Staunton News Leader | Entertainment: Interview | September 2016
National Public Radio: WEMC | “Airplay” | Sonata for Clarinet and Piano (Guastavino) | August 2016