Emi Ferguson, flute, and RUCKUS
Sunday, November 17, 2019, 4 p.m.
Corpus Christi Church
Fly the Coop: Bach Sonatas and Preludes
Fresh off their recording collaboration for Fly the Coop, acclaimed virtuoso flutist Emi Ferguson and RUCKUS, the six-member continuo band, offer a lively and wild romp through some of Bach’s most playful and transcendent works.These idiosyncratic performers reimagine Bach for 21st-century fans of 18th-century performance practice. According to Emi, this is Bach “infused with equal parts tradition, funk, whimsy, and fun.”
Post-concert Q and A
“Emi Ferguson led on Baroque flute … with a Romantic, even operatic, emotiveness. Every bit as expressive, the five-piece Baroque band” Ruckus brought continuo playing to not simply a new level, but a revelatory new dimension of dynamism altogether.” —The Boston Musical Intelligencer
Hailed by critics for her “tonal bloom” and “hauntingly beautiful performances,” English-American performer and composer Emi Ferguson stretches the boundaries of what is expected of modern-day musicians. Emi’s unique approach to the flute can be heard in performances that alternate between the silver flute, historical flutes, and auxiliary flutes, playing repertory that stretches from the Renaissance to today.
Emi can be heard live in concerts and festivals around the world as a soloist, and with groups including AMOC, the New York New Music Ensemble, the Handel and Haydn Society, the Manhattan Chamber Players, and New Vintage Baroque. She has spoken and performed at several TEDX events and has been featured on media outlets including The Discovery Channel, Vox’s Explained series on Netflix, Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and Juilliard Digital’s TouchPress apps—talking about how music relates to our world of today. Her debut album, Amour Cruel, an indie-pop song cycle inspired by the music of the 17th-century French court, was released by Arezzo Music in September 2017. It spent four weeks on the Classical, Classical Crossover, and World Music Billboard Charts. Emi has completed a second album, a collaboration with continuo band RUCKUS of Bach Sonatas and Preludes for a 2019 release.
Emi was a featured performer alongside Yo-Yo Ma, Paul Simon, and James Taylor at the 10th Anniversary Memorial Ceremony of 9/11 at Ground Zero, where her performance of Amazing Grace was televised worldwide. Her performance that day is now part of the permanent collection at the 911 Museum.
Emi is passionate about developing new music and has premiered works by many of today’s leading composers. As a baroque flutist, in addition to her new appointment as principal flute of the Handel and Haydn Society, Emi is a frequent guest artist with period ensembles including Tafelmusik, the American Classical Orchestra, Trinity Baroque Orchestra, and Juilliard415. She was the only flutist accepted to Juilliard’s inaugural Historical Performance class, and has performed with William Christie and Les Arts Florrisants, and with Christophe Hammer, Massaki Suzuki, Christopher Hogwood, and Nicholas McGegan, with whom she was a concerto soloist in Alice Tully Hall and on WQXR.
RUCKUS is a new baroque band with a fresh, visceral approach to early music. The ensemble’s debut earned widespread critical acclaim: “achingly delicate one moment, incisive and punchy the next” (New York Times), and “superb” (Opera News). The core members form a continuo group, the baroque equivalent of a rhythm section: guitars, keyboards, cello, bassoon, and bass. The ensemble aims to fuse the early-music movement’s questing, creative spirit with the grit, groove, and jangle of American-roots music, creating a unique sound of “rough-edged intensity” (New Yorker).
RUCKUS will begin a long-term project of envisioning “pre-American music” starting in the summer of 2019. The group will meet in Los Angeles for annual performing and workshopping through a residency at The Da Camera Society. Da Camera will be instrumental in developing new programs, specifically ones that investigate collisions of culture in 17th- and 18th-century North America.
RUCKUS’s debut album, an acclaimed collaboration with Emi Ferguson of Bach Sonatas and Preludes, has just been released in 2019.