Ensemble for Medieval Music. Benjamin Bagby, Director

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Sequentia celebrated its 37th anniversary in March 2014



Worldwide Representation

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

Production consultant (Europe)

Valérie Lafont
Cinquièmes Cordes
1bis, passage Duhesme
F-75018 Paris / France
Phone: +33(0)6 77 09 62 32


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The Ensemble

Sequentia is one of the world’s most respected and innovative ensembles for medieval music. It is an international group of singers and instrumentalists – united in Paris under the direction of the legendary performer and teacher Benjamin Bagby – dedicated to the performance and recording of Western European music from the period before 1300. The size and disposition of the ensemble is determined by the repertoire being performed, and ranges between an instrumental/vocal duo to a large vocal ensemble. Based on meticulous and original research, intensive rehearsal and long gestation, Sequentia’s virtuosic performances are compelling, surprising in their immediacy, and strike the listener with a timeless emotional connection to our own past musical cultures. More


Collected Stories: Hero

Bagby's Beowulf performed in Carnegie Hall, New York City

On 22 April Benjamin Bagby performed a version of Beowulf as part of a series of concerts curated by American composer David Lang.

New York Times review

This concert was listed among the 'Ten Best Classical Music Events of 2014' by the New York Times!


Hildegard von Bingen: Celestial Hierarchy

The final CD of Sequentia's Hildegard von Bingen complete works project was recorded for DHM/SONY in November 2012 in the church of Franc-Warêt, Belgium. It was released in May 2013 as a single CD, and will be followed by the complete works box set at a later date. The completion of this enormous project, begun by Sequentia in 1982, represents the culmination of the life's work of the late Barbara Thornton and also celebrates Hildegard's elevation to sainthood and magistra ecclesiae in 2012. A multi-generational ensemble of women's voices plus the flautist Norbert Rodenkirchen was united under the direction of Benjamin Bagby for this unique recording whose title is 'Celestial Hierarchy'. More


Frankish Phantoms

Benjamin Bagby: voice, harp;
Wolodymyr Smishkewych, voice;
Norbert Rodenkirchen, flutes, cithara, harp.

In his new Sequentia programme, Benjamin Bagby explores the musical world of the Carolingian clan – and especially Charlemagne, who became emperor in 800 –, those warlike and pious Frankish kings whose realm, in the 8th century, stretched across what is now most of Western Europe. More


Charlemagne: Emperor and Saint

Benjamin Bagby: voice, harp;
Wolodymyr Smishkewych, voice;
Norbert Rodenkirchen, flutes, cithara, harp.

Joined by vocalists Justin Bonnet, Vincent Pislar, and Michael Loughlin Smith.

As an extended version of 'Frankish Phantoms', members of the male vocal ensemble of Sequentia join for this second new program featuring music which highlights two aspects of the Frankish emperor Charlemagne and his image in the world: a selection of Latin songs from the his imperial court, devotional music from the time of his successors (8th – 10th centuries), as well as liturgical chant from the 12th-century office for Saint Charlemagne, Regali natus. More

Other Current Programs


new Voices from the Island Sanctuary

A new program of vocal music from the milieu of Notre Dame de Paris and the schools of the Latin Quarter (ca. 1170-1235). It was in the choir of the Cathedral of Notre Dame that the best young male vocalists in Europe were to be heard on important feast-days; it was here that the most innovative musical minds gave expression to new ideas in thrilling sonic structures which echoed the dynamic new architecture taking shape around them. More


Fragments for the End of Time

In this program, we explore the musical world of these surprising, powerful texts, some of which survive only as fragments: the Old High German Muspilli, which describes the waking of the dead, the workings of Satan, the fight of Elias with Anti-Christ, the call to judgement, and warns of the uselessness of wealth and bribery in that final courtroom... More


The Rheingold Curse: A Germanic Saga of Greed and Vengeance from the Medieval Icelandic ‘Edda’

An ensemble of five musicians (voices, harps, flute, fiddle) retells the dramatic story of the Rheingold, Sigurd and Brynhildur, the dragon and Gudrun’s murder of Attila the Hun. North American tour in January 2010. More

Upcoming Concerts

1 May 2015
University of Chicago

7 May 2015
Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC (USA)

10 June 2015
Boston Early Music Festival
Frankish Phantoms

See full concert schedule



History of Sequentia

On 8 April 2015 Benjamin Bagby spoke at the University of Paris (Sorbonne) about the 38-year history of Sequentia, using photos and musical examples to trace the development of the ensemble from its founding in 1977, with Barbara Thornton, to the current programs of ‘The Lost Songs Project’. Bagby’s plan is to eventually begin work on a more detailed history of the ensemble, which he hopes to make available in years to come, chapter by chapter, on the Sequentia website.


A Smithsonian Symposium

Organized by the Smithsonian’s Kenneth Slowik, an upcoming symposium at the Smithsonian Institution will explore several topics germane to the teaching of historically informed performance practiceto collegiate and graduate students in the United States. As an inspirational prelude to the symposium itself, on Thursday evening 7 May at 7:30, Benjamin Bagby, co-founder of the medieval ensemble Sequentia, will present his hour and one quarter long solo recitation of the first part of the great medieval Anglo-Saxon saga Beowulf.



Read an in-depth interview with Benjamin Bagby in the 2014 issue of the journal TYR


Hildegard von Bingen: complete works

Sequentia's recordings of the complete works of Hildegard will be released as a 9-CD box set on the DHM/SONY label on 15 August 2015.


Barbara Thornton Memorial Scholarship

The most recent scholarship (2013) was awarded by Early Music America to mezzo soprano Isabella Shaw.


Beowulf on DVD

Benjamin Bagby’s legendary performance of the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf (part I) recorded live in Helsingborg, Sweden.
Visit the Beowulf website

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