Georgia Southern music faculty members receive Global Music Award for new CD

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  • Elaris Duo received the Silver Medal-Outstanding Achievement Award

Shiann Sivell

Georgia Southern University Department of Music faculty and classical music duo Elaris Duo received the Silver Medal-Outstanding Achievement Award at the Global Music Awards April 5.

The winning CD, “Duo Virtuoso II – Works for Violin and Cello,” features masterpieces created between the two world wars from European artists Honegger, Ravel and Schulhoff, and won the SMOA award in the new release categories.

Larisa Elisha, D.M.A., and Steven Elisha, D.M.A., formed the acclaimed classical group, Elaris Duo, in 1999 after playing together when the pianist of their piano-trio failed to show up to a rehearsal.

“We decided to rehearse without the pianist and it was then that we discovered how easy it was to play together and the joyful collaboration was instant,” Steven Elisha said. “From that moment we both felt compelled to continue playing as a duo because it was an ensemble that immediately clicked.”

The husband-wife duo has performed all over the United States and internationally, including in Newtown, Connecticut after the Sandy Hook shooting.

Off the stage, Larisa is the Coordinator of Upper Strings in Violin and Viola for GS. Steven is the Head of the Strings Area as well as Director of Orchestras in Cello and Bass for GS. The duo uses the breaks and weekends to schedule their performances.

Larisa said that balancing the duo’s performing and teaching careers make their lives both easy and intense.

“We’re dedicated people,” Larisa said. “We love what we do, and we feel that our purpose is to pass on our knowledge. I strongly believe that when you’re a performer you really can’t present to your students practical practicum, but when you are a good and dedicated teacher you really know the method and approaches and how to raise a musician or educate them, because you are teaching our students not only to perform but to teach as well.”

The Elaris’ next collaboration performance will be in Wisconsin on May 6.

Elaris Duo’s CD can be purchased from their website.

Shiann Sivell, The George-Anne Daily Reporter,