The Sunday Recital Series at Mary Baldwin University will continue on November 17 with the Meraki Duo, which includes clarinetist Anastasia Christofakis and pianist Elizabeth G. Hill. The concert is at 3 p.m. in Francis Auditorium.
Their eclectic and appealing program includes several works by American composers. They will open with A Gentle Notion, by the award-winning composer Jennifer Higdon. They are also performing the Virginia premiere of Jerod Tate’s Heloha Okchamali (“Blue Thunder”), a piece that was commissioned by the Meraki Duo as recipients of the 2018 Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Program.
“This piece is a unique addition to the classical repertoire for clarinet and piano, in that its movements are infused with traditional Chickasaw melodies that are exchanged between the instruments,” explains pianist Hill. “The work was inspired by Tate’s son, Heloha, whose name means ‘Thunder’ in the Chickasaw language.”
Also on the program is the stirring Piano Sonata No. 5 by George Walker, a prolific composer who was the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize for music. They will finish with some popular works by George Gershwin.
Clarinetist Christofakis maintains 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. Christofakis is on the faculty at Mount St. Mary’s University and at the InterHarmony International Music Festivalin Acqui Terme, Italy. She received her doctor of music in clarinet performance at Florida State University, her master’s degree from Roosevelt University, and bachelor’s degree in music from James Madison University.
A recognized leader in contemporary music advocacy, pianist Hill has performed in 13 U.S. states and Europe in service of her life’s work: joining cultures together through music. She performs within numerous chamber ensembles within the Washington, D.C., area, serving as principal pianist for the Balance Campaign ensemble, and Symphony Number One, all of whom are active in performing and commissioning contemporary music. Hill holds degrees from Mary Baldwin (BA), James Madison University (MM), and the Catholic University of America (DMA with a specialization in chamber music).
Single tickets for November 17 may be purchased at the door and are $5 for the general public and $4 for students and seniors (free for MBU students). Season tickets are also available. Purchase tickets and find more information online, or call 540-887-7294.