Meraki Duo

The Programme:

Astor Piazzolla – Nightclub 1960 from Histoire Du Tango
William Grant Still – If You Should Go and Bayou Home
Schubert – Arpeggione Sonata in A Minor
Tōru Takemitsu – Toward The Sea for alto flute and guitar
Dvorak – Sonatina in G Major
Egberto Gismonti – Água e Vinho
Quarteto Novo – O Ôvo

Meraki – “Doing something you love with all your creativity, soul and passion”

Stop Press: Meera and I just wanted to share with you that we had the honour of receiving 1st prize in the International Chamber Music Competition for Flute & Guitar (II Concurs Internacional de Música Cambra Flauta & Guitarra), last weekend in Spain (early July). It was Meraki Duo’s first time ‘competing’ on an international platform, and it’s nice to have returned back home now for concerts!

Meera Maharaj and James Girling both studied at the Royal Northern College of Music, where they quickly connected through a shared passion for chamber music, jazz, Latin American and European folk, and contemporary works. Since Meraki Duo formed in 2013, they have enjoyed performing concerts year-round: for recital series from Northumberland to Cornwall, at venues such as Wigmore Hall, Bridgewater Hall and Kings Place, and festivals including London Guitar Festival, Swaledale Festival, Fishguard & West Wales International Music Festival, and Alwyn Music Festival.

Meraki Duo were selected onto International Guitar Foundation’s Young Artist Platform 2019/20. In 2019, they were finalists in the Royal Over-Seas League Competition (Mixed Ensembles) in London. In 2020 at London’s 1901 Arts Club, Meraki Duo premièred their first substantial commission: À Norte, Rio Preto, by award-winning Brazilian composer Rafael Marino Arcaro. In 2022 at Kings Place for International Guitar Foundation’s Guitar ‘In London’ series, they premiered another work, Swarming, composed for them by Effy Efthymiou. They recorded both works in the summer.

From autumn 2021 to spring 2022, Meraki Duo gave two collaborative tours: the first as a trio with Canadian double bassist Benjamin Du Toit, the second as a quartet with Norwegian soprano Susanna Solsrud and Scottish harpist Sophie Rocks, whose folk-inspired programme was developed around Stravinsky’s Four Songs for voice, flute, harp and guitar.

As Live Music Now artists since 2018, Meraki Duo also bring performances into the wider community across the country. They are specially trained to give interactive concerts in schools for children with special educational needs and disabilities, and in care homes.

 The Duo captured me immediately with their effortless virtuosity and poised presentation ... A revelation, both the program and the aplomb with which it was presented.  Peter Westbrook, Flute Journal

About Meera…

Meera Maharaj is currently a Countess of Munster Recital Scheme alongside pianist Dominic Degavino. Competition successes include first prize in the Royal Academy of Music Flute Competition and Dutch International Flute Competition and 3rd prize in the British Flute Society Competition. She graduated with Distinction in her Masters, studying with Michael Cox at the Royal Academy of Music. In 2017, she graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music (first class honours), studying with Wissam Boustany and Laura Jellicoe. Meera has played at the Southbank Centre, Wigmore Hall, Kings Place and Royal Albert Hall at the BBC Proms. She is Co-principal Flute of Chineke! Orchestra.

Meera has a Website

About James…

James Girling is a versatile guitarist working internationally. He was tutored by Craig Ogden at the Royal Northern College of Music, where he is now an Associate Member, and won RNCM’s Gold Medal award. James has headlined festivals, recorded, and been broadcast live on Radio 3 playing with the BBC Philharmonic, Hallé Orchestra, and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s Ensemble 10:10. As soloist, he made his Wigmore Hall debut in 2017 and has since performed Rodrigo’s guitar concertos alongside orchestras across England. Also strongly influenced by music traditions rooted in improvisation, he is a Jazz North alumnus, and tours and records across a range of styles including with Prohibition-era jazz septet The Easy Rollers and Afrobeat/Ethiojazz-inspired 11-piece Agbeko.

James has a Website

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