Flutist Emi Ferguson (“wonderful,” The New York Times; “irresistibly vital,” Portland Press Herald) is joined by the continuo band Ruckus in a wild technicolor romp through some of Bach’s most playful and transcendent works reimagined and realized for 21st-century fans of 18th-century performance practice. Having earned widespread critical acclaim for its fresh, visceral approach to early music, Ruckus’ core members form 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” (The New Yorker).
Immediately following the concert, there will be a Q&A with members of Ruckus and Emi Ferguson, with an opportunity for the audience at home to ask questions; moderated by Caramoor’s Artistic Director, Kathy Schuman.
Emi Ferguson, baroque flute Ruckus
Clay Zeller Townson, baroque bassoon
Coleman Itzkoff, baroque cello
Doug Balliett, baroque bass
Paul Holmes Morton, theorbo, baroque guitar, banjo
Adam Cockerham, theorbo, baroque guitar
Elliot Figg, harpsichord, organ
FLY THE COOP!Bach Sonatas and Preludes
The livestream will be available to view for 48 hours. This concert starts at 3:00PM EST.Questions? We have a livestream guide prepared specifically for our Caramoor Members, and another guide for the general public. Following this guide will hopefully answer all of your questions, so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the show! Contact the Box Office at 914.232.1252 or [email protected].
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Our debut album, a collaboration with flutist Emi Ferguson, is a joyous, kaleidoscopic romp through some of Bach’s most playful and transcendent works. The album features new arrangements of Bach’s Flute Sonatas and Keyboard Preludes, orchestrated for baroque flute and the forces of Ruckus that include theorbos, baroque guitars, baroque bassoon, cello, viola da gamba, harpsichord, organ, bass, and the occasional banjo. We explode Bach’s bass lines into a rainbow of textures and colors, continually shifting like light over the landscape as Ferguson’s flute lines dance above. Contrasting the three flute sonatas on the album are new arrangements of a variety of Bach’s keyboard preludes, with selections ranging from the beloved Well Tempered Clavier, to alternate movements from keyboard suites that are rarely performed.
Ruckus is a 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” (The New York Times), “superb” (Opera News). Ruckus’ 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” (The New Yorker).
Ruckus’ first album, an acclaimed collaboration with Emi Ferguson of Bach Sonatas and Preludes, debuted at #2 on the Billboard Charts. Through an annual residency in Stamford, Vermont, Ruckus is continually developing new programs. Current programs in development include Holy Manna, a revisionary look at American Hymnody through Shape-Note Music, and a recital featuring Davóne Tines.
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 Auxilary Flutes, playing repertoire 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, 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. In addition to her solo recordings, Emi has also been featured on recordings for New Focus Records, Old Focus Records, Cantaloupe Music, National Sawdust Tracks, Brontosaurus Records, Coro, and MSR Classics.
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. Emi 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 is thrilled to be 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 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.