2022 and 2021 grantees of Chamber Music America’s Ensemble Forward program, our ensemble Esenca Duo (Liz Hogg, guitar & Denis Savelyev, flute) was formed in 2016 while we were both masters students at Mannes College, the New School for Music. Some of our recent performance history includes Hewlett-Woodmere Public Library in Hewlett, NY (2-hour Edythe Brenner Memorial Concert) (2019), Boonton Historical Society in Boonton, NJ (performed a three hour program of flute & guitar repertoire throughout the ages as well as holiday themed music and our own arrangements) (2018), Hunterdon County Senior Center in Flemington, NJ (performed and discussed a program of solos and duos as part of Raritan River Music’s Arists-in-the-Community Residency Program) (2018), Hunterdon Art Center in Clinton, NJ (performed as part of a concert presented by Raritan River Music and sponsored by Augustine Foundation) (2017), Bliss Plaza in Sunnyside, NY (performed duos for Sunnyside Shines event, sponsored by Queens Council on the Arts) (2017), Morgan Library in New York, NY (various Sunday afternoon concerts in the lobby throughout 2016 and 2017), Hamilton House in New York, NY (2016-2017 Sunday afternoon concerts), Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, NY (2016-2017 afternoon concerts), Latin American Guitar Festival at Mannes College in New York, NY (Piazzolla’s Bordel 1900 and Gentile’s Perflautoechitarra) (2017).
Our musical focus is on contemporary and modern music, pieces written after 1900 that make great use of new techniques for each of our instruments and feature an equal spotlight on both players. This focus has brought our attention to the music of Robert Beaser, Astor Piazzolla, Ada Gentile, Jacques Ibert, Maximo Diego Pujol, Edmundo Villani-Côrtes and Béla Bartók. These composers, though from all over the world, have each pushed the boundaries of flute and guitar repertoire, whether it be through extended techniques, innovative experiments in tonality, polytonality, or atonality, or striking textures not seen in earlier music. We select music that offers something fresh and exciting each time we play. We believe every piece should reveal something brand new to the player and listener, that this aspect of performance is essential. That is why our duo is called Esenca duo (Esenca meaning essential in Esperanto, the most widely spoken auxiliary language). We enjoy playing music from all over the world with this common thread of being modern, forward thinking and original.