Emi Ferguson


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 well as at home in New York City where she is a member of the New York New Music Ensemble, NYBI, Argento Ensemble, and New Vintage Baroque. She has spoken and performed at several TEDX events and has been featured on media outlets including The Discovery Channel and Juilliard Digital's TouchPress apps talking about how music relates to our world today.  This year, she is producing two albums: a flute and piano album highlighting Cesar Franck’s A Major Sonata, and a cross-genre “baroque-pop” album that takes 16th/17th century French texts and motifs and spins them into 21st century indie-pop songs.

Emi is the 1st Prize winner of the National Flute Association’s Young Artist Competition, of the New York Flute Club Young Artist competition, the Mid-Atlantic Flute Competition, the Juilliard Concerto Competition, the J.C. Arriaga Chamber Music Competition, and was a recipient of the 2014 Salon de Virtuosi grant.

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 Wayne Oquin, Kendall Briggs, Elliott Carter and even CPE Bach. Emi has been a featured performer at the Marlboro Music, Lake Champlain, and Lucerne Festivals, 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.  Having passions for both “new” and “old” music, Emi is the only flutist to have worked simultaneously with conductors James Levine, Pierre Boulez, and William Christie on modern and baroque flutes in Lucerne, New York, and France.

As a Baroque Flutist, Emi is a frequent guest artist with period ensembles including Tafelmusik, the American Classical Orchestra, Trinity Baroque Orchestra, and Juilliard 415.  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 with whom she was a concerto soloist in Alice Tully Hall and on WQXR, New York City’s classical music station.

Emi is currently on the faculty of the Juilliard Schoolteaching Ear Training in the Evening and Pre-College divisions 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. While pursuing her Undergraduate degree, Emi cross-registered at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health studying Epidemiology.

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.

February 2016

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Review: ‘Au Revoir, Pierre,’ a Celebration of Boulez
2016-01-10 New York Times, New York City
"The interplay of instruments and voice (all members of the Metropolis Ensemble) in four movements of the seminal cantata "Le marteau sans maître" evoked the conversations, understandings and genial disagreements of a better society: In the eighth section, the flute line (Emi Ferguson, who stood out in an excellent group) winds through an exotic yet friendly thicket of percussion."
(Zachary Woolfe)
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Wolpe and Feldman - together again in rewarding NYNME program
2014-12-16 New York Classical Review, New York, New York
"Flutist Emi Ferguson joined Gosling and Druckman for the first, long piece. Feldman made the music with three independent parts that only come together in strict synchronization in the last moments. The musicians are like three painters who share the same canvas, work independently, then concur on the masterpiece they have created. The playing was beautiful: Ferguson produced a full, dark sound on all her instruments (including alto and bass flute), Druckman conveyed a sense of stimulating foreboding through his repeated glockenspiel notes, and Gosling articulated Feldman's extraordinarily subtle rhythmic variations with astonishing clarity. - See more at: http://newyorkclassicalreview.com/2014/12/wolpe-and-feldman-together-again-in-rewarding-nynme-program/#sthash.gvZfkl48.XUInqqXm.dpuf"
(George Grella)
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A Finale, Firsts Included
2013-04-16 The New York Times, New York City
"This led to a mournfully beautiful solo for the wonderful flutist Emi Ferguson that brought her from breathy bursts to lithe melodies [who] also had a riveting role in Mr. Astapov's "Myths of Ancient Bosphorus." "Its first movement featured yet another sweet, sinuous line from Ms. Ferguson, the evening's under-the-radar star."
(Zachary Woolfe)
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Early Music, Autumn and Winter, in New York City
2014-01-31 New York Arts, New York City
"New York Baroque Incorporated, founded in 2011, is a group of young musicians playing Baroque instruments. I heard them at le poisson rouge in a program consisting mostly of Italian music, especially Vivaldi, Biber, and a rediscovered flute concerto by G. B. Ferrandini, which was played by featured artist Emi Ferguson, a brilliant and exceptionally versatile musician who is a virtuoso on all manner of flutes and repertory, from the Baroque to the present. She gave an intense reading of the work, fully realizing its highly dramatic and expressive parlando style, with robust support from the ensemble."
(Michael Miller)
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