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. Their debut album Within is being released by Equilibrium Records in December 2022, and features works by Anthony R. Green, Jamie Wind Whitmarsh, and Jerod Tate, that were commissioned by the duo.
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. Anastasia is currently on 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 chamber music and 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. Elizabeth is a co-founder of the chamber ensemble Meraki, dedicated to awakening cultural compassion through music. She is also 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).
Selected Past Performances:
ClarinetFest 2022 | Reno, NV | June 2022
Furman University | Greenville, SC | September 2021
New Music DC 2019 | Washington, DC | September 2019
“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
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