Juilliard-trained flutist’s newest album: it’s vocal music, and it’s crossover

Posted on: January 9, 2018

“Emi Ferguson is a Juilliard-trained flutist—a career that requires many hours and years of practice,” writes Anne Midgette in Friday’s (1/5) Washington Post. “But her most recent album, ‘Amour Cruel,’ is vocal music, and when she recorded it, she had never sung in public. It’s based on 400-year-old French songs, adapted from manuscripts Ferguson stumbled across in the Juilliard library. And as a classical crossover album it landed her on the Billboard charts.… Many younger artists are, like Ferguson, seeking more agency and autonomy [and] looking for ways to incorporate more of the musical styles they love into their performances. Electric guitars and indie-rock singers have become regular features of the new-music scene … ‘Amour Cruel’ is a kind of baroque pop…. There’s nothing new about contemporary versions of baroque music…. But it’s striking that Ferguson deliberately embraced the crossover format…. Ferguson says, … ‘Our training as classical musicians is about preserving tradition.… You can put your own stamp on it to an extent. But what has been so exciting … is to have complete ownership of the material.’ … When Ferguson finally performed the material in public, it was at Juilliard—and it got a positive reaction.”

Posted January 9, 2018