Ensemble for Medieval Music. Benjamin Bagby, Director

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Sequentia celebrates its 40th anniversary in March 2017




Katja Zimmermann

(exclusive of Europe)

Seth Cooper
Seth Cooper Arts Inc.
4592 Hampton Ave.
Montréal, QC, Canada
Tel: 514-467-5052

In association for
Season 2016-2017 with:

Jon Aaron
Aaron Concert Artists 
220 West 148th St. 4J
New York City 10039, NY / USA
Tel: 212-665-0313


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Isabella Shaw receives the 2013 Barbara Thornton scholarship

This year's Barbara Thornton Memorial Scholarship has been awarded by EMA to mezzo-soprano and scholar Isabella Shaw. The jury, unanimous in its decision, was impressed with her background, the clarity of her proposal, her motivation and focus in her chosen field, and the depth of her commitment to medieval music performance

Isabella, originally from Denver CO, had already set her sights on study in Europe at an early age; following studies at Trinity College of Music (London) she has recently completed a course of study at Cambridge University (UK), where her special areas of interest were medieval and early modern literature (including Chaucer, Gower and Dante, but also 12th century female mystics (English and Continental). Her passion for medieval languages has brought her into contact with Latin, Occitan, Old French, Italian and medieval English. In addition to the practical study of medieval musical notation, she has been active as a performer, singing in a variety of ensembles in both the UK and in the Czech Republic. Besides singing she has studied viol and recently started to study Gothic harp; she is drawn to the rhetorical challenges facing every singer, studies dance, and writes poetry. Following her graduation this summer, Isabella plans to travel on the continent to audition for various advanced medieval-music performance programs in France, Spain, the Netherlands and Switzerland. This award will assist her in making the transition from undergraduate life to the kind of specialized study she hopes to pursue, and very much in the spirit of Barbara Thornton (who was undergoing a similar transformation exactly 40 years ago) she will surely make new connections, find new colleagues & teachers, and gain access to the techniques and resources which will serve her well during that transition. We will certainly be hearing more from Isabella Shaw in the years to come, and wish to congratulate her on this well-deserved award.


Upcoming Concerts

17 March 2017
Basel (CH) Predigerkirche, Freunde Alte Musik
Monks Singing Pagans

25 March – 2 April 2017
Lafayette College, Vassar College, Princeton University, Yale University
Benjamin Bagby Beowulf tour USA

1 April 2017
New York City, Symphony Space
Book release event for ‘The Inquisitor’s Tale’

11 May 2017
Paris, Université de Paris – Sorbonne, Amphithéâtre Richelieu

See full concert schedule




Benjamin Bagby has recorded the only surviving Old High German epic fragment, the Hildebrandslied (The Song of Hildebrand), for inclusion in an audiobook version of Adam Gidwitz’s new book for children and young adults, The Inquisitor’s Tale, just released by Penguin/Random House. He also recorded harp accompaniments to go with portions of the reading of the story. A release event is being schedule for New York City in early April, 2017.


New program given birth at Cambridge University

Following working sessions in 2014-15 with University of Cambridge musicologist Sam Barrett in the USA (Harvard University and Ohio State University) and in Cambridge (Pembroke College), Sequentia was in residence at Cambridge in April for the final rehearsals of the new program 'Monks Singing Pagans'.  An informal video of a rehearsal made by the university became a YouTube sensation, with over 500,000 views. In addition to their rehearsals and working sessions on the songs of Boethius, Sequentia gave a masterclass and the premiere performance of 'Monks Singing Pagans', immediately followed by the US premiere during a residency at Dartmouth College (USA). The week spent at Dartmouth included teaching activities in music history, performance practice, Latin poetry and manuscript studies. Sequentia returned to Cambridge in late June to prepare a special program of the Boethian songs, which was given as part of a symposium on medieval Latin song, with a special concert on 2 July in Pembroke College Chapel.


Teaching in Basel and Milano

Benjamin Bagby will be teaching performance courses on medieval song at two music academies this year:

Schola Cantorum Basiliensis (Basel, Switzerland): 31 October to 1 November 2016 and 13-14 March 2017

Scuola Civica di Musica Claudio Abbado (Milano, Italy): 2-3 December 2016 and 16-18 February 2017


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