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 was recently released by Equilibrium Records and features works by Anthony R. Green, Jamie Wind Whitmarsh, and Jerod Tate, that were commissioned by the duo.
Anastasia Christofakis has performed around the world, but only buys bagels in her hometown of Syosset, New York. Having purchased a down coat while getting her Masters in Chicago, Illinois and several pairs of flip flops for her Doctorate in humid Tallahassee, Florida, Anastasia finally settled into the temperate climate of Greenville, South Carolina where she serves as Assistant Professor of Clarinet at Furman University. Anastasia is a sought-after educator, most recently taking on the role of Coordinator of the Chamber Music Intensive at the New England Music Camp, in Sidney, Maine. Outside of her teaching schedule, Anastasia enjoys collaborating with others to expand the scope and diversity of new music, as well as its accessibility. In addition to her role with Meraki, Anastasia also performs and serves as the Vice President of Education and Community Outreach of What is Noise – an award-winning Pierrot ensemble made up of musicians from around the world. A non-profit organization, What is Noise focuses its mission on building community through music. She is a Royal Global Performance Artist and performs on Firebird clarinets and Brian Corbin clarinet products.
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. In addition to her role as co-founder of Meraki, She is also pianist for Balance Campaign, a chamber ensemble whose focus lies exclusively on commissioning and performing works by marginalized composers. She currently also serves as the pianist for the National Philharmonic. An active pedagogue, Elizabeth is a private piano teacher in the DC-metro 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:
Furman University | Greenville, SC | Student Q&A; Clarinet and piano coachings
Oklahoma City University | Oklahoma City, OK | Clarinet and piano masterclasses, composers forum
Mary Baldwin College | Staunton, VA | Latin-American music discussion
Selected Media Appearances:
PBS: WCNY | Interview with Anthony R. Green | March 2023
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