EMI loves to make music. That's pretty much it, but if you want a little more proof look no further than the hours of cassette tapes she burned through as a five-year-old, performing her heart out for no one but her younger sister.
Since then, she's brought her love of music and performing to wider audiences around the globe, sharing the stage as a flute player, singer, and composer with performers including Yo-Yo Ma, Paul Simon, James Taylor, and four U.S. Presidents, (though her inner teenager will tell you her career highlight was being called on stage to sing Oops I Did It Again at a Britney Spears concert.) You can catch one of EMI's future performances by checking out the LIVE link.
EMI loves to collaborate with other artists and learn about and absorb new kinds of music from around the world - she was born in Japan and raised in London and Boston, but moved to New York to study at The Juilliard School where she was hired upon graduation to the Ear Training faculty, where she makes faces like this (Britney taught EMI a lot), while torturing willing students in their quest for the best ears ever.
For a complete bio with all of the serious bells and whistles included, click here.
To listen to 5 year old EMI do dramatic readings about animals click here.
March 28, 2023
Ok - so it's not a "project" but I'm so so excited I had to share this wonderful news. I am so honored to be named a 2023 Avery Fisher Career Grantee - something I never dreamed could happen, but am so grateful! Watch the livestream, tonight from WQXR's Greene Space where I'll be joined by pianist Matthew Aucoin for some of my favorite music! So many thanks to the Fisher family and to Lincoln Center for this incredible recognition!
Coming June 2023!
Emi Ferguson and Nicholas Csicsko join artist David Csicsko, writer Jamie Bernstein, and DJ LaRob K. Rafael for a dive into the wonderful world of composers! Iconic Composers is a book for ages 12+ that introduces readers to 50 AMAZING and ICONIC composers in the Western Classical tradition from the past 1000 years! Pre-order the book now.
For the month of March hear Emi guest host WQXR's McGraw Family Young Artists Showcase. Over 5 episode, Emi features music performed by winners of the Salon de Virtuosi Career Grant, the Paul and Daisy Fellowship for New Americans (part 1) (part 2), musicians pioneering new music by living composers, and young musicians reinvigorating music of the past for today.
Ok...so Woody Guthrie never met Franz Schubert, but can you imagine if they did? Emi's latest program with Frankly Music explores iconic musical storytellers Franz Schubert, Woody Guthrie, Harry T. Burleigh, J.B.F. Wright and Thomas A. Dorsey on a grand tour of some of the most amazing musical storytelling!
August 18th, 2022
At one point, I seriously considered going into Epidemiology full time. While that didn’t happen, it’s still something that I’m very passionate about, so when WQXR gave me the opportunity to combine my interest in disease with music in podcast form, I jumped! And...voilà! New series with WQXR out now! Episode 1 of 4, all delving into the impact of Syphilis on composers Franz Schubert, Bedřich Smetana, and Scott Joplin!
July 29th, 2022
Of course the most famous Aqualung is Jethro Tull's iconic flute rock legend. This Aqualung is my arrangement of Michael Hersch's solo violin arrangement of Orlando Gibbons' "O Lord I Life My Heart to Thee" Gibbons' original is for 5 voices which Hersch reduces for double stopped solo violin. Upon hearing this solo violin version performed I was captivated and immediately wanted to challenge myself to see if I could make a version of Hersch's arrangement for solo flute. Thus - Aqualung - singing while playing the flute - an attempt to recreate Hersch's and Gibbons' beautiful and other worldly harmony.
February 1st, 2022
Emi joins WQXR's 2022 Artist Propulsion Lab - It’s an honor to be a featured artist in WQXR’s 2022 Artist Propulsion Lab! I love what they’re doing to support the future of classical music. I’m so excited to pursue my projects across their platforms, share new recordings, commission new work, perform in The Greene Space, and more!
December 2nd, 2021
An album of chamber and orchestral music from Matthew Aucoin with whom Emi collaborates as part of the American Modern Opera Company. Emi plays a number of flutes on Matthew Aucoin's new score for filmmaker Blackhorse Lowe's "Gallup (Na'nizhoozhi) - a collaboration with AMOC and LA Opera.
November 18th, 2021
Virtuoso flutist Emi Ferguson joins Les Délices for a program of riveting chamber works from the eve of the French and Haitian Revolutions. Inspired by philosophical ideals of liberty and equality and early abolitionist writing, we pair works by Joseph Bologne Chevalier de St. Georges and Luigi Boccherini with a new work by Haitian composer Sydney Guillaume.
April 17th, 2021
The Allemande from Bach's Partita for solo flute - one of my favorite pieces to play - is no less virtuosic today than the day he wrote it, asking flute players to traverse the full length of the instrument from the lowest note to the highest with a constant stream of 16th notes reminiscent of some of his other famous Preludes written for the Cello and Keyboard. One day as I sat alone during the pandemic, I wondered...what would it be like if I took Bach's Allemande and used it as seed material, weaving newly composed A and B repeats into the piece after hearing Bach's original as well as a fun introduction that also incorporates the voice...
March 27th, 2021
Emi joins composer MATTHEW EVAN TAYLOR for a collaboration with the MET Musum and the Metropolis Ensemble, Postcards from the MET, Matthew's 12 part imrprovisational audio/video series for remote performers.
October 23rd, 2020
Emi joins composer Michael Hersch and sculptor Christopher Cairns in imagining a socially distanced LIVE concert series amongst sculpture: ...thus far and no further. The series includes 5 live performances between October 2020 and June 2021, and features 5 world premieres by Michael Hersch, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Missy Mazzoli, Christopher Fox, and Alican Çamci.
August 6th, 2020
Emi premieres Tyson Davis' Tableau no. III, for solo flute as part of the Metropolis Ensemble's House Music series.
"How a classical musician turned 400-year-old French songs into a modern hit"
- Anne Midgette, The Washington Post
The debut album from Emi Ferguson. Released in September, 2017 the album spent four weeks on the Billboard Classical Albums, Classical Crossover, and World Albums charts and has been met with acclaim from critics and listeners.
"...it's an entirely unique listening experience that redefines the idea of Baroque Pop..."
- Peter Jurew, All About Jazz
FLY THE COOP
BACH SONATAS AND PRELUDES
Taking Bach out of the museum and infusing his music with equal parts tradition, funk, whimsy, and fun, Emi Ferguson and Ruckus take you on a wild romp through some of Bach’s most playful and transcendent works.
"Wit, panache, and the jubilant, virtuosic verve of a bebop-Baroque jam session electrified and illuminated..."
- Boston Musical Intelligencer