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


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Lost Songs

In the mid-1980’s, Benjamin Bagby began his work on the reconstruction of the Beowulf epic, and since then he has been deeply involved with those European musical repertoires which have literally ‘vanished’, for which the surviving manuscripts do not provide enough information for a reliable transcription. Aided by musicologists and philologists (such as Sam Barrett and Peter Dronke of Cambridge University, Jan Ziolkowski of Harvard University, and Heimir Pálsson of Uppsala University), Bagby – often working together with his colleagues in Sequentia – has built on his work with Beowulf to reconstruct the music of other early sources: Anglo-Saxon texts (such as Deor and the Wanderer); the deep reservoir of stories found in the Icelandic Poetic Edda; the Old Saxon Heliand; the Old High German Muspilli, the Hildebrandslied and Otfrid von Weissenburg’s Evangelienbuch; the Latin and German lyrics found in the 11th century manuscript known as the Cambridge Songs. Many of these have been recorded (see below) and other projects are in preparation.

Programs and recordings

  • Frankish Phantoms (8th-10th centuries)
  • Fragments for the End of Time / Endzeitfragmente
    (Sequentia concert program since 2005; CD in 2008)
  • Beowulf
    (solo concert since 1990; DVD in 2007)
  • Lost Songs of a Rhineland Harper
    (Sequentia concert program 2000-2007; CD in 2004)
  • The Rheingold Curse: A Germanic Saga of Greed and Revenge from the Medieval Icelandic Edda
    (Sequentia music-theater project 2001-2; concert program since 2001; CD in 2001)
  • Music theater: Ping Chong’s staging of the ‘Rheingold Curse’
  • Edda: Myths from Medieval Iceland
    (Sequentia music-theater project 1995-7; CD in 1999)

Programs in preparation
[working titles]

  • The Unknown Carmina Burana (premiere in summer 2013)
  • Anglo-Saxon Elegies (7-8th century laments in Old English)
  • The Monk Sings the Pagan (classical authors set to music, 10-12 centuries)
  • Boethius: The Consolation of Philosophy (6th century Latin song)

Read Benjamin Bagby's article Searching for the Lost Voice of My Germanic Ancestors which appeared in Early Music America

Upcoming Concerts

30 September 2018
New York City (Music Before 1800)

17 October 2018
London (British Library)

7 December 2018
Amherst, MA / Amherst College
Monks singing pagans

14 December 2018
Gdansk, Poland / Actus Humanus Nativitas
Monks singing pagans

See full concert schedule



Benjamin Bagby's teaching activities in 2018

In addition to his teaching position at the University of Paris - Sorbonne, where he has taught since 2005 in the professional masters program, Benjamin Bagby travels widely in 2018 to teach other practical workshops for young professionals:

Milano, Scuola Civica di Musica (Milano, Italy) 29-31 January
The troubadours of the Milano manuscript R71 sup. (late 13th century)

Folkwang Universität der Künste (Essen-Werden, Germany) April-June
Benjamin will join the faculty of this renowned masters program for liturgical chant performance and medieval music, specializing this year in music from Notre Dame of Paris. The dates of his courses: 13-14 April, 18-20 May, 28-30 May and 15-17 June. More information

Schola Cantorum Basiliensis (Basel, Switzerland) 25-26 May

7th International Course on Medieval Music Performance (Besalú, Spain) .
Music relating to the idea of the Crusades, especially in the 12th and early 13th centuries.

Amherst Early Music Festival (Connecticut College, New London CT) 15-21 July
An intensive course on the Roman de Fauvel (14th century)
July 21, 2018, 1 pm "Roman de Fauvel project" (student performance)

Burg Fürsteneck, Germany (31 August to 02 September
Fortbildung zur Musik des Mittelalters / Roman de Fauvel (guest instructor)

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