2016 pianoSonoma at Juilliard Artists in Residence


Our Artists in Residence collaborate with festival participants in guided chamber music and duo rehearsalsperform in public concerts together, and help to lead masterclasses. Learn more about our Artists in Residence Program here. 

Emi Ferguson, flute

Emi Ferguson for pianoSonomaHailed by critics for her “tonal bloom” and “hauntingly beautiful performances,” English- American flutist Emi Ferguson is a performer who stretches the boundaries of what is expected of modern-day instrumentalists. Emi’s unique approach to the flute can be heard in performances that alternate between the Modern Flute, Historical Flutes, and Auxilary Flutes, playing repertoire that stretches from the Renaissance to today.

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’s playing can be heard live in concerts and festivals around the world as well as at home in New York City. Emi is passionate about developing new music for the flute 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 and Lucerne Festivals, Twickenham Fest, June in Buffalo, 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.

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.

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. Emi has also been featured as a soloist and ambassador for Elliott Carter’s music in China and Japan. 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 School 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. Born in Japan and raised in London and Boston, she now resides in New York City.


Mika Sasaki, piano

Mika Sasaki for pianoSonomaPianist Mika Sasaki has established herself as a sought-after chamber musician, soloist, and emerging educator. Since her solo debut with the Sinfonia of Cambridge at age seven, she appeared twice with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, and more recently with the 92Y Orchestra in NYC, playing Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto. Mika has performed frequently in the U.S., Europe and Japan, at venues including Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie, Steinway Hall, Alice Tully Hall, 92nd Street Y, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Palazzo Chigi Saracini (Italy), Minatomirai Hall (Japan), Tokyo Bunka Kaikan (Japan), Seiji Ozawa Hall, and live on WQXR (New York).

As an accomplished chamber musician, Mika was most recently invited to Music@Menlo as an international program artist, performing nine concerts in the Bay Area last summer. In 2014, she was invited to the Tanglewood Music Center as a Leonard Bernstein Fellow, where her interpretation of Schubert’s “Grand Duo” for four-hands was hailed as a “colorful reading of the work … [with] nuance and sensitivity to Schubert’s music” (Boston Musical Intelligencer). Other festival appearances include the Estherwood Music Festival (U.K.), Aspen Music Festival, Yellow Barn Young Artists Program, Mannes Beethoven Institute, Icicle Creek Chamber Music Festival, Accademia Musicale Chigiana (Italy), Taos School of Music, and ChamberFest at Juilliard. Her former mentors and coaches include the Avalon, Shanghai, Borromeo, and Brentano Quartets, Phyllis Bryn-Julson, Yoheved Kaplinsky, Robert McDonald, Tom Sauer, Ignat Solzhenitsyn, John Harbison, Peter Serkin, Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax, Wu Han, David Finckel, and Gilbert Kalish.

An avid proponent of new music, Mika recently performed solo and chamber music works at Arvo Pärt’s 80th birthday celebration at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, collaborating with principal dancers from the New York City Ballet. Other appearances include a world premiere of Paul Frucht’s Proviso (2015) at the NYCB Choreographic Institute, and performances at the Festival of Contemporary Music at Tanglewood. She is currently preparing the world premiere of Max Grafe’s piano piece, and a performance of Milton Babbitt’s Three Compositions (1947) at Juilliard’s Focus! Festival 2016: “Milton Babbitt’s World: A Centennial Celebration.”

Mika grew up in Demarest, New Jersey, and began her studies with Olegna Fuschi at the Juilliard Pre-College division at the age of seven. Moving to Tokyo, Japan in 2001, she returned to the U.S. to pursue her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees at the Peabody Conservatory under the tutelage of Benjamin Pasternack. A recipient of several awards in piano and chamber music including the Tony & Tina Guilder Scholarship Award in Piano, William H. Kaltenbach Jr. Endowed Scholarship, and Clara Asherfeld Award for Accompanying, she was invited to join the U.S. national music honor society, Pi Kappa Lambda, and received the Peggy & Yale Gordon Accompanist Recognition Prize, and Sidney Friedberg Prize in Chamber Music upon graduation.

Mika is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree as a C.V. Starr Doctoral Fellow at the Juilliard School, where she studied with Joseph Kalichstein. At Juilliard, she was the recipient of the Isidore Kleppel Scholarship, Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship, Celia and Joseph Ascher Fund for Piano, and the C.V. Starr Doctoral Fellowship. She has taught Sight-Reading, Secondary Piano, and Music Theory as a teaching fellow, and is on the faculty for undergraduate and graduate courses in Keyboard Skills and Piano Topics this year. She is also an active staff pianist at Juilliard.


Julian Schwarz, cello

Julian Schwarz for pianoSonoma

Born in Seattle into a musical family, cellist Julian Schwarz is already being recognized as a cellist destined to rank among the finest of the 21st century.  In August 2013, he was awarded first prize in the professional cello division of the inaugural Alice and Eleonore Schoenfeld International String Competition in Hong Kong.

Mr. Schwarz made his orchestral debut at the age of 11 playing the Saint-Saens Concerto No. 1 with the Seattle Symphony with his father, Gerard Schwarz, on the podium.  Since then, he has  appeared with the Seattle, San Diego, Puerto Rico, Columbus (OH), Syracuse, Virginia, Sarasota, Grand Rapids, Omaha, Wichita and Modesto symphonies  among others, and performed recitals at the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico and in Palm Springs.

Mr. Schwarz’s recent and upcoming performance highlights include debuts with the Charlotte, Des Moines, West Virginia, Toledo, Amarillo and Washington/Idaho symphonies, Louisville Orchestra and Symphony Silicon Valley in San Jose; return engagements with the Hartford and Boca Raton symphonies and the Northwest Sinfonietta; and recitals in Palm Springs, Washington, DC, Pennsylvania and Nova Scotia.  Internationally, he made his Australian debut with the Queensland Symphony in Brisbane as well as his debut in Hong Kong appearing at the Intimacy of Creativity Festival.  He also returns to the Boca del Rio Orchestra in Veracruz, Mexico.

Julian Schwarz started piano lessons at the age of five and began his cello studies the following year with the late David Tonkonogui; subsequent teachers include Toby Saks, Lynn Harrell, Neal Cary and Ronald Leonard.  He received his Bachelor of Music degree from The Juilliard School in New York City in May 2014 where he studied with Joel Krosnick and is currently pursuing his Masters of Music degree, also at Juilliard.  He currently performs on a cello made in Naples by Gennaro Gagliano in 1743.



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