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

05 October 2017
Paris (FR), Musée de Cluny
Monks Singing Pagans

09 to 13 October 2017
Venice (IT), Fondazione Cini
Seminar Roman de Fauvel

20 April 2018
Konstanz, D
Oswald in Konstanz

See full concert schedule



Benjamin Bagby's recent activities as teacher/lecturer, linked to his performances

At the invitation of the music department, Benjamin taught a performance workshop on the music of Hildegard von Bingen for students at Princeton University (29 March), where he also performed 'Beowulf' in a collaborative production with digital light designer Craig Winslow. Following this, at the invitation of the medieval studies program and the English department, he gave a lecture on his work with reconstructing the 'Beowulf' performance, at Yale University (3 April).

At the Université Paris – Sorbonne, where Benjamin is on the faculty, the yearly 'Entretiens de la musique ancienne' were held this year in honor of his life-long work with reconstructing 'lost songs'. The main event was his performance of 'Beowulf' (11 May), with French video titles, in the Amphithéâtre Richelieu of the Sorbonne, followed by two days of symposium at the university's Centre Clignancourt, sponsored by the historical music organization IREMUS and the musicology department of the university. During this symposium, Benjamin gave a lecture on his work with reconstructed harps and the kinds of clues they can provide ('Beowulf ': dans l'atelier d'un conteur d'histoires).


2017 Barbara Thornton Memorial Scholarship awarded by Early Music America to string-player Allison Monroe

This scholarship is given by EMA to “an outstanding and highly-motivated (and possibly unconventional) young performer of medieval music who seeks to widen his/her experience through more advanced study and/or auditions in Europe.”  The recipient is chosen by a jury of musicians who knew or worked with the great medieval music specialist and teacher, Barbara Thornton (1950-1998), who co-founded Sequentia together with Benjamin Bagby in 1977. Read more about Allison here.

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