University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance
"Infierno" by Jeremy Esquer // Aleksandr Polyakov, conductor // University Philharmonia Orch.
University Philharmonia Orchestra A n Evening of World Premieres Wednesday, February 9, 2022 Hill Auditorium Infierno Jeremy Esquer, composer Aleksandr Polyakov, conductor (0:00) Introduction (1:08) Performance This piece was inspired by The Divine Comedy, written by Dante Alighieri. I first came across this incredibly difficult read of a book a year ago. This book, through my interest of already reading some philosophical works, grabbed my attention through what is entitled in Dante’s book as “Canto IV, Circle I: Limbo.” In Dante’s idea of hell, circle I harbors what he calls “Virtuous Pagans,” and further down this circle lies the “Citadel of Human Reason” where the master souls of pagan antiquity (Philosophers) are gathered in an illuminating green light. This light represents the highest state that man can achieve without God. It seems to me that God had a special place for these individuals because of how impressed he was by how they achieved something as great as they did without the light of God. This composition represents a journey from the plains of man to the gates of hell, to the arrival of the “Citadel of Human Reason.” JEREMY ESQUER is an Ann Arbor based contemporary composer and guitarist. He has composed works for mixed trio, brass quintet, reed quintet, wind ensemble, two piano two percussion, Pierrot ensemble, and solo piano. At the age of fifteen Jeremy was commissioned to arrange a piece for his marching band which was performed at a football half time show. As a guitarist he toured Europe with the Cal State LA Guitar Ensemble and performed in Malta for the U.S. ambassador. He has taught classical guitar privately and served as a music theory tutor at Imperial Valley College, where he received his AA degree and later received his BM in composition at California State University of Los Angeles. ALEKSANDR POLYAKOV is a Ukrainian-American pianist and conductor. The prize win- ner of more than 20 international competitions, his notable prizes include third prize at the ninth International Liszt Competition (Netherlands) and second prize at the sixth Interna- tional Liszt Competition (Germany). As a conductor, Polyakov is frequently leading opera productions and collaborating with vocal- ists. In Ukraine, he has performed both Liszt Piano Concertos and Beethoven’s Emperor while conducting from the keyboard. He has participated in a number of conducting masterclasses including Italian Opera Academy with Riccardo Muti. Polyakov is also a dedicated and sought-after pedagogue. He has given masterclasses in the U.S., China and Europe. He is a doctoral student in a conducting studio of Professor Kenneth Kiesler, and is currently serving on a piano faculty at Boston Conservatory at Berklee.
The Word of God Op. 2, No. 1
I fist would like to congratulate and thank Evan Cogswell for his marvelous performance of this piece. Evan is an amazing organist and you all should search for him and support him! This piece of music was inspired and written for the appreciation of reality itself; the objective truth of the world seen through the limitations of us. "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth," a lack of justification, just a mere statement to what is, an objective truth in faith. I felt it was appropriate to leave this first piece open-ended in order to be able to continue a cycle of future organ pieces to finish the chapter of Genesis. The Word of God Op. 2, No. 2 will be premiered spring of 2022