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Meraki Duo play flute and guitar music by de Falla, Villa Lobos, Burt Bacharach

Friday December 8, 2017 at 13:10
St James's Church, Piccadilly, London
Free admission – no ticket required

  1. Suite populaire espagnole, for violin and piano - Manuel de Falla, arranged for guitar by Jean-Maurice Mourat
  2. Toward the Sea - Toru Takemitsu
  3. Bachianas Brasileiras No 5 - Heitor Villa-Lobos
  4. Jovka Kumanovka, from Four Macedonian Pieces - Miroslav Tadic
  5. A house is not a home - Burt Bacharach, arranged by James Girling

Formed in 2013, the Meraki Duo enjoys exploring the diversity of repertoire available to the flute-guitar pairing while contributing arrangements of their own. Meera Maharaj and James Girling both studied at the RNCM, sharing a passion for chamber music. They love performing in a wide variety of contexts and venues; most recently, these have included a range of churches across the North, the Royal Overseas League House in London, and even a barn in Cumbria. The Meraki Duo have performed for the RNCM’s annual Strings Festival and Day of Guitar, and gave a recital of Argentinian music in the conservatoire’s Spotlight Concert Series. In January they also enjoyed performing at the Bridgewater Hall as part of Craig Ogden’s Guitar Weekend. They regularly perform for recital series in Manchester, Cheshire and Cumbria, recently giving recitals as part of Lake District Summer Music and Lymm Festival. In February, they very much enjoyed performing in London in the semifinal of the Royal Overseas League Competition.

Meera was born in 1995 and grew up in Warrington. She is currently studying at the Royal Academy of Music with Michael Cox, having received an entrance scholarship, a Countess of Munster Musical Trust award and a Help Musicians UK Postgraduate Award. Meera graduated from the RNCM with a first class degree, studying with Laura Jellicoe, Juliette Bausor and Wissam Boustany. In 2017, Meera won 3rd prize in the British Flute Society “Young Artist” Competition and was a finalist in the RNCM Concerto Competition. In 2016, she won the Dutch International Flute Competition and gained 2nd prize in the RNCM Solo Woodwind Competition in 2015, following on from earlier competition successes during her school years. She has given solo performances at the Concertgebouw, the Bridgewater Hall and other venues across the North of England. A former member of several national youth ensembles, Liverpool Philharmonic Youth and CBSO Youth Orchestras, Meera has performed with a variety of RNCM ensembles. She won a place on the Professional Experience Scheme, resulting in performances with the BBC Philharmonic. She has organised several successful concerts in aid of Warrington Foodbank and Medecins sans Frontieres, in which she has performed with the Meraki Duo and as a soloist.

Self-taught prior to conservatoire, twenty-one-year-old James has begun his Masters studies at the RNCM, continuing to study with Craig Ogden having achieved the BMus(Hons) there on the Accelerated Pathway. In 2016, James won the RNCM Gold Medal, the conservatoire’s most prestigious award, and made his Wigmore Hall debut in March 2017. He was also recently awarded the Emscote award from Edward Dusinberre of the Takacs Quartet, and the Principal’s Prize for Jazz Improvisation. He has performed in masterclasses for renowned guitarists such as Elena Papandreou, Michael Lewin and Julian Byzantine, and for jazz musicians Mike Walker and Jason Rebello. Among James’ ensembles are award-winning Afrobeat/Ethiojazz 11-piece, Agbeko, and the Nexus Guitar Duo, which has performed at the Etihad Stadium, Bridgewater Hall and Leeds International Concert Season. As guitarist in the RNCM Big Band, James performs alongside eminent soloists including Tim Garland, Julian Joseph and Tina May. His own jazz quintet, artephis, is the Jazz North Introduces artist 2015-16 and has been featured at the North’s major jazz festivals. Meanwhile, James has been commissioned to write arrangements for a forthcoming Craig Ogden-Jacqui Dankworth recording.

Free recital (retiring collection)

St James's Church, Piccadilly
197 Piccadilly
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