Milton G. Scheuermann Jr.

Host of Continuum

Milton has been the co-host (with Thais St. Julien) of Continuum since 1976. He is a true New Orleanean, born on Mardi Gras day, attending P. A. Capdau Grammar School and Warren Easton High School. After completing the five year program of the Tulane School of Architecture in 1956 he was drafted into the Army.  After a two year stint in the combat engineers in Germany he returned to New Orleans to work with the architectural firm of Goldstein, Parham & Labouisse, becoming an associate in the firm of Parham & Labouisse after Mr. Goldstein’s death. He was appointed University Architect for Dillard University in 1972 and retired from that position in 2002. Milton has been a faculty member at the Tulane School of Architecture for the last 55 years. As Adjunct Professor of Architecture, he presently teaches courses that he designed himself; Architecture & Music and Architecture & Mysticism. Both courses involve his passions for music and magic. In 2011 Milton was a recipient of a prestigious Arts Council of New Orleans Community Arts Award as architect and educator.

Milton has taught piano since an 8th grade student at Capdau School. He studied piano for 16 years with Gordon Kirst, pianist at the original Roosevelt Hotel. While in Germany with the combat engineers he frequently performed as a pianist, and he also bought a Renaissance style recorder. After returning to New Orleans he began playing in a recorder ensemble, the Woodvine Recorder Consort, started by the then new South African Council General, Vere Stock. His growing love for early music culminated in the formation of New Orleans Musica da Camera in 1966. The ensemble is now the oldest continually performing early music ensemble in the world.

Many of the instruments used by Musica da Camera were constructed by Milton from original manuscript drawings. The ensemble now has the pleasure of owning well over 100 early instruments, including seven harpsichords, housed in its own building on Laurel St. in uptown New Orleans. In that building is Musica da Camera’s office, library of over 9,000 books and scores of early music, 4,000 CDs, rehearsal space and living quarters of Thaïs St. Julien (with her 3 cats), Milton’s co-director for Musica da Camera.

Equal to his passion for early music (particularly medieval and early Renaissance) is his passion for the music of Richard Wagner. He is an expert on Wagner with a deep knowledge of all of the composer’s operas, both German texts and scores, knowing all of them from memory. While still in high school, he taught himself German so that he could understand Wagner's librettos.

His third great passion is magic, as a performing art. He is a member of the Knights of Slights, and former or current officer of local chapters of the Society of American Magicians and the International Brotherhood of Magicians. Mentalism is his specialty; his performances have often made audience members more than a little uneasy about the transparency of their thoughts.

When not doing any of the above, he sleeps very soundly at night.

Ways to Connect

The Folger Consort is one of the oldest early music ensembles in the U.S. Its home base is the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC containing the largest Shakespeare collection in the world. 

This Continuum program features three famous singers of the past performing songs from the early music repertoire. The singers are countertenor Alfred Deller, mezzo-soprano Jan DeGaetani and soprano Victoria De Los Angeles. They present a variety of early music selections recorded about forty years ago.

Continuum presents a program devoted Renaissance flute music from the 16th century, specifically, from the Chanson Musicales, printed in Paris in 1533 by the famous French printer, Pierre Attaingnant. Copies of actual Renaissance wooden flutes are used by the ensemble, Zephyrus Flutes, directed by Nancy Hadden. A Renaissance lute is added in a number of the selections. The recording used is: Pierre Attaingnant - Chansons Musicales, Paris 1533. (Zephyrus Flutes) ZF001.

This Continuum presents music by the 15th century French composer, Johannes Ciconia. Beside composing music he was also a music theorist of the late Middle Ages. He was born in Liège, but worked most of his adult life in Italy, particularly in the service of the papal chapel(s) and at Padua cathedral. The Chansonnier Cordiforme dates from the 1470s and is a heart-shaped manuscript containing 43 songs of Dufay, Binchois, Ockeghem, Busnoys and others including several unica.

Continuum presents a program devoted to the music of Guillaume Dufay, who was a Franco-Flemish composer and music theorist of the early Renaissance and the most important composer of his time.

He belonged to the group of composers known as the Burgundian School. Dufay had more influence on music in Europe than any other composer of the 15th century and is considered the first major composer of the beginning of the Renaissance period.

Continuum presents a program of early music from the Ars Subtilior period, a musical style characterized by rhythmic and notational complexity, centered in Paris, Avignon in southern France, and in northern Spain at the end of the 14th century. The style is found also in the French Cypriot repertory. The music of this period is highly refined, complex, very difficult to sing and perform, and probably was produced, sung and enjoyed by a small audience of specialists and connoisseurs. The recording used is: Ars Subtilior - Dawn of the Renaissance (Various performers) - Century 5 - Vol. 7.

On this Continuum you'll hear European polyphonic music of the 14th century which flourished in France and the Burgundian Low Countries. The Ars Nova can be described  as "new technique", or "style", following the Ars Antiqua style of the 13th century, particularly the style of the older Notre Dame school in Paris at that time. The recording used is: A Revolution in the Late Middle Ages (The Ars Nova) (Various performers) - Century 5 - Vol. 6.

This Continuum presents unique contemporary performances of medieval music in accordance with the modern revival of music from this period, hence the name, Neo-Medieval. The three ensembles are have been highly praised for their approaches to performing this music. All are different from each other but each gives excellent interpretations of the selections. Recordings used are: Sapphire Night  (Tapestry) - MDG 344 1193-2, Neo-Medieval (Hesperus) - Dorian DIS 80155, and Darkness Into Light (Anonymous 4) - Harmonia Mundi HMU 907274.

This Continuum is a very merry program of early English music, primarily Elizabethan and Jacobean and features songs and dances of that period. Included are songs by some of the most famous composers of that time such as John Dowland, Thomas Campion, and Thomas Morley. And, of course, specific dances like Kemp's Jig and Cupid's Doomsday, Recordings used are: Miri It Is (The Dufay Collective) - Chandos CHAN 9396, Ars Britannica (Pro Cantione Antiqua) - Teldec 2292-46004-2, and When Birds Do Sing (Folger Consort) - Bard BDCD 1-9207.

Thomas Binkley was an American lutenist and early music scholar. He founded and led the famous "Studio der Frühen Musik" in 1960 in Munich which performed and recorded early music for twenty years. This Continuum presents excerpts from two of the ensembles famous CDs directed by Binkley. The music is from the repertoire of the troubadours and trouveres and from the famous Carmina Burana. Recordings used are; Troubadours, Trouveres & Minstrels (Studio der Frühen Musik) - Teldec 4509-97938-2, and Carmina Burana (Studio der Frühen Musik) -Teldec 4509-95521-2

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