Greek musician commemorates the centennial of Armenian Genocide through music

Anastasia Stacy Christofakis

Anastasia (Stacy) Christofakis was awarded the Presser Foundation Graduate Music Award to pursue her project: 2,000 years of history, 100 years of survival: Armenia, the story of a people through their music. As part of her project, Anastasia will travel to Armenia to study Armenian folk and contemporary music and then organise and present a symposium in April of 2015, commemorating the centennial of the Armenian genocide.

Anastasia is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Music, in clarinet performance at Florida State University. Last February, Anastasia applied for a grant through the Presser Foundation that is awarded to 16 graduate schools of music, Florida State University being one of them. Anastasia's proposed project was to travel to Armenia to study the Duduk and folk music at Yerevan State Conservatory. The research there is to culminate in a lecture and recital symposium on April 4-5, 2015 at FSU, commemorating the centennial of the Armenian Genocide.

Thus far, for the symposium, folk and contemporary Armenian music recitals have been scheduled, as well as a guest presentation by Armenian composer Kevork Andonian.

The main idea behind the project is to celebrate the strength and perseverance of the Armenian people. Anastasia hopes to show how music has helped to create a sense of nationalism amongst the Armenian people as they have rebuilt and fought against many oppressive forces.

"Being Greek-American myself, I know what an important role music and folk traditions play in the history of both the Greeks and the Armenians. The folk music is representative of everything that the people have gone through and all that they have survived. It connects generations through a shared history and sense of pride." says Anastasia.