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 was a faculty member at the Tulane School of Architecture for 56 years, retiring in 2015 as Adjunct Professor of Architecture. He taught courses in drawing, photography, calligraphy, visual presentations and two courses that he designed himself; Architecture & Music and Architecture & Mysticism. Both courses involved his passions for music and magic.

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

Two of the most famous Renaissance composers of dance music were Michael Praetorius (1571-1521) and Tielman Susato (c.1510-1570). This Continuum presents a wide selection of this highly spirited music. Performing are the famous New York Pro Musica and the New London Consort. The music by the New York Pro Musica is from a 1950s sound track of an early video of this most famous early music ensemble. CDs used are: Praetorius/Susato (New York Pro Musica) L’Oiseau-Lyre 436 132-2, and Tielman Susato: Dansereye (New London Consort) Universal UMD 80565.

Excerpts from the medieval musical, "The Play of Robin and Marion", will be featured on this Continuum. Composed by the 13th century trouvère Adam de la Halle, this pastoral work is considered by some to be one of the first operas written. The recording is an historic live performance given in 1984 by musicians of the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, the famous early music school in Basel, Switzerland. CD is "Le Jeu de Robin et Marion", Focus 913.

Ensemble für frühe Musik Augsburg, the great early music ensemble from Augsburg, Germany is featured on this Continuum. The ensemble's musicological work has often formed the framework for practical research specifically into medieval and monastic music. Continuum is pleased to have 15 of their recordings in its CD library. This is Part I of a series of programs to be devoted to the ensembles many CD recordings.

This Continuum is a special program devoted to the art of the recorder in early music presented by the legendary David Munrow and the Early Music Consort of London. Munrow suffered from depression for many years and took his own life at the age of 33, just a few months after performing in New Orleans with his Early Music Consort of London on the Friends of Music concert series. He made over 50 LP recordings in his early years. Recordings used in this program are from The Art of the Recorder — Testament SBT2 1368 — a 2 CD set.

La Folia is one of the most important anonymous melodies of the 15th & 16th centuries. It has been reported to have variations composed for it by over 400 composers over the years. Probably the most notable variation of the La Folia is by Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713). This week on Continuum you'll hear this composition and others from a few notable composers extending into the present day.

Continuum presents a live recording of a recent Musica da Camera concert about Love. The music is of diverse places and times and includes selections by medieval composers Petrus de Cruce, La Comtessa de Dia, Guillaume de Machaut and, of course, the ubiquitous Anonymous. The concert was recorded in St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in New Orleans. The program is from the Musica da Camera's CD, Love Is Where You Find It, Belle Alliance BA007.

Continuum presents dance music that may have been heard in The Garden of Mirth (a garden of love) from the 13th Century poem, The Romance of the Rose, a medieval French poem styled as an allegorical dream vision. It is a notable instance of courtly literature. The work's stated purpose is to both entertain and to teach others about the Art of Love. At various times in the poem, the "Rose" of the title is seen as the name of the lady, and as a symbol of female sexuality in general.

Continuum presents harpsichord music by the Baroque French composer and harpsichordist, Francois Couperin (1668-1733). His most intriguing harpsichord work without a doubt is "The Mysterious Barricades". Music historians and scholars have never been able to give a reason for the name of the composition. Perhaps Couperin had a future vision of the many streets in uptown New Orleans that were closed by barricades and repaired as a result of hurricane Katrina in 2005. New Orleans born harpsichordist Skip Sempe performs these interesting compositions.

One of the most famous gifted musicians in the field of early music is the Catalan viol player, Jordi Savall. He is truly a master of the instrument. On this Continuum you’ll hear his extraordinary playing of historical Celtic music. Joining him is the outstanding medieval harpist, Andrew Lawrence-King . Both the viol and harp are rarely heard together in performance. This it truly a remarkable and memorable CD. The CD used is: The Celtic Viol (Jordi Savall, Andrew Lawrence-King et al) - AliaVox AVSA 9878.

Dancing in the Middle ages was one of the most popular pastimes. There are some medieval and Renaissance dances that have come down to us. Unfortunately quite a few of the popular dances were not written down because it was assumed that everybody knew them. On this Continuum you’ll hear some of the 45 or so dances that we do have available from early written sources. Recordings used are: A Dance in the Garden of Mirth (The Dufay Collective) - Chandos CHAN 9320, and Istanpitta II (New York’s Ensemble for Early Music) - Lyrichord LEMS 8022.

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