Music Mondays: Ruckus & Emi Ferguson – Fly the Coop
- Emi Ferguson, flute
Don’t miss this performance of "the world’s only period instrument rock band" (San Francisco Classical Voice) in music by J.S. Bach that is "a fizzing, daring display of personality and imagination" (The NY Times). Flautist Emi Ferguson of AMOC ("wonderful," The NY Times) joins for a tour of J.S. Bach’s preludes and sonatas, interlaced with selections of music by György Ligeti.
Doug Balliett, double bass | Adam Cockerham, theorbo | Elliot Figg, harpsichord & organ | Coleman Itzkoff, cello | Paul Holmes Morton, baroque guitar | Clay Zeller-Townson, founder & baroque bassoon | Ruckus is a shapeshifting, collaborative baroque ensemble with a visceral and playful approach to early music. The ensemble debuted in Handel’s Aci, Galatea e Polifemo in a production directed by Christopher Alden featuring Anthony Roth Costanzo, Ambur Braid and Davóne Tines at National Sawdust. The band’s playing earned widespread critical acclaim: "achingly delicate one moment, incisive and punchy the next" (The New York Times); "superb" (Opera News). Ruckus’s core is a continuo group, the baroque equivalent of a jazz rhythm section: guitars, keyboards, cello, bassoon and bass. Other members include soloists of the violin, flute and oboe. 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" (The New Yorker). Its members are assembled from among the most creative and virtuosic performers in North American early music, and is based in New York City. Ruckus' debut album, 'Fly the Coop', a collaboration with flutist Emi Ferguson, was Billboard’s #2 Classical album upon its release. Live performances of Fly the Coop in Cambridge, MA was described as "a fizzing, daring display of personality and imagination" (The New York Times). "Ruckus brought continuo playing to not simply a new level, but a revelatory new dimen-sion of dynamism altogether… an eruption of pure, pulsing hoedown joy … Wit, panache, and the jubilant, virtuosic verve of a bebop-Baroque jam session electrified and illuminated previously candle-lit edifices as Ruckus and friends raised the roof, and my mind’s eye will never see those structures in quite the same light again." (Boston Musical Intelligencer) With 'Holy Manna', a program including arrangements of early American hymns from the shape-note tradition, Ruckus has begun a multi-project exploration of histories of American music. Other upcoming projects include a co-commission of a large-scale work by pioneering artist and NEA Jazz Master Roscoe Mitchell as part of a Bach / Bird Festival (with The Metropolis Ensemble and the Immanuel Wilkins Quartet). https://www.ruckusearlymusic.org/
About Emi Ferguson, flute
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 repertoire that stretches from the Renaissance to today. Ms. Ferguson 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, and the Manhattan Chamber Players. 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 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, spending 4 weeks on the Classical, Classical Crossover, and World Music Billboard Charts. Her 2019 album Fly the Coop: Bach Sonatas and Preludes, a collaboration with continuo band Ruckus debuted at #1 on the iTunes classical charts and #2 on the Billboard classical charts, and was called “blindingly impressive...a fizzing, daring display of personality and imagination” by The New York Times. Emi Ferguson is passionate about developing new music and has premiered works by many of today's leading composers. She has been a featured performer at the Marlboro Music, Lake Champlain, and Lucerne Festivals, Portland Bach Festival, Bach Virtuosi Festival, June in Buffalo, Twickenham Fest, and Chamberfest Dubuque, and has performed and taught with Juilliard Global in Brazil, pianoSonoma in California, Juilliard Baroque in Germany, and Les Arts Florissants in France and has been featured as a soloist and ambassador for Elliott Carter’s music in China and Japan. As a historical Flutist, in addition to her appointment as Principal Flute of the Handel and Haydn Society, Emi Ferguson is a frequent guest artist with period ensembles including Tafelmusik. She can also be heard with period instrument groups including Voices of Music, the American Classical Orchestra, and Trinity Baroque Orchestra. She was the only flutist accepted to Juilliard’s inaugural Historical Performance class, and has performed alongside William Christie and Les Arts Florrisants, and with Christophe Hammer, Massaki Suzuki, Christopher Hogwood, and Nicholas McGegan. Emi Ferguson is currently on the faculty of the Juilliard School teaching Ear Training, the Bach Virtuosi Festival, and has taught on the faculty of the University of Buffalo. Emi was the first person to have graduated from Juilliard with Undergraduate and Graduate degrees with Scholastic Distinction in flute performance, as well as a second Graduate degree in Historical Performance as a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow. Her principal teachers have been Carol Wincenc, Sandra Miller, Robert Langevin, and Judy Grant. Born in Japan and raised in London and Boston, she now resides in New York City. https://www.emiferguson.com/