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

Continuum presents a program devoted to early music performed by the famous Clemencic Consort. Founded in 1967 by Rene Clemencic, Austrian composer, recorder player, harpsichordist, conductor and clavichord player, they have produced over 100 records and CDs. You’ll hear excerpts from four of these historically outstanding recordings including the Roman de Fauvel and the Cantigas de Santa Maria. Recordings used are: Carmina Burana - OEHMS OC 635, and Troubadours - Cantigas de Santa Maria I&II - Harmonia Mundi France HMX 2901524 & 2901525.

The early music ensemble, Atrium Musicae de Madrid, was founded in 1964 by Spanish monk, Gregorio Paniagua. Performing in the ensemble were members of the Paniagua family. The ensemble disbanded in the 1980s. Many recordings were made by the family and this Continuum presents selections from four of their CDs. Their performances are unique and unlike any of the other early music ensembles of that period.

Two well-known composers are featured on this Continuum - one old and one new. Beginning with the English 17th century Henry Purcell, you’ll hear selections from his opera, “Dido and Aeneas”. The relatively new composer, believe it or not, is our own George Gershwin, making an interesting combination of 17th and 20th century music performed by early music musicians. Recordings used are: Dido and Aeneas (The Mermaid Singers & Orchestra) - EMI CDN 7610062, Dido and Aeneas (Academy of Ancient Music) - Decca 436 992-2, H.

The music of the 14th century Italian composer, Francesco Landini, is featured on this Continuum. His love songs, 146 of which are contained in the famous Squarcialupi Codex, an illuminated manuscript compiled in Florence, Italy in the early 15th century are major compositions for this period of early Italian music. In addition to the songs of Landini, a selection of songs by Ghirardello da Firenze from the same Codex are also heard.

Three major early music sopranos present performances of the music they enjoy singing the most. The singers are Julianne Baird, Evelyn Tubb and the inimitable Emma Kirkby. All three of these ladies have produced dozens of CDs over the past three decades ranging from Greensleeves to the music of J.S. Bach. All are heard on this very delightful program. The recordings used are: Greensleeves (Baird, McFarlane) - Dorian DOR 90126, The Mad Lover (Tubb & Kelly) - Musica Obscura 070987, J. S.

Early music performed by the short-lived Ensemble Alcatraz is presented on this Continuum. Formed in the late 1980s, the ensemble made only three CDs. The members of the ensemble are all well-known early music performers who play today in many other early music groups. The three CDs are all excellent for the music presented. The CDs used are: Danse Royale - Elektra Nonesuch 79240-2, Vision and Miracles - Elektra Nonesuch 79180-2 and Cantigas de Amigo - Dorian DOR 90258.

The eminent Renaissance vocal ensemble Blue Heron is featured on this Continuum. Featured is their very first CD recording performing the music of Guillaume Dufay, considered the very first major Renaissance composer. Included in the program is the music he composed for the dedication of the Cathedral in Florence, Italy in 1436. Recordings used are:  Guillaume Du Fay (Blue Heron) - Blue Heron BHCD 1001, and Istanpitta! (New York’s Ensemble for Early Music) - Lyrichord Discs LEMS 8016.

The first recording of the music of the medieval German Benedictine Abbess, Hildegard of Bingen, is performed by the ensemble Sequentia on this Continuum. The ensemble continued to record all of the music of the Abbess during the next decade with a collection of music about Saints, ending their project in 1998, the year celebrating Hildegard's 900th birthday - hence, the first and last. Recordings used are: Hildegard von Bingen (Sequentia) - Musical Heritage Society 513813H, Saints (Sequentia) - BMG Classics 0547277378 2.

 

Continuum presents a program of medieval dances performed by the Capella de Ministrers, an early music group founded in 1987 in Valencia, Spain by Carles Magraner. Most of the types of medieval dances are heard on this recording including the famous Lamento di Tristano, estampies, saltarellos, istampitas and melodies from the Cantigas de Santa Maria by Alfonso X. Recording used is Lamento di Tristano (Capella de Ministrers) - Licanus B0001Z24NU.

CLM 4660 is the library call number for the Carmina Burana (Latin for "Songs from Beuern") manuscript now housed in the Bavarian State Library in Munich. The collection was found in 1803 in the Benedictine monastery of Benediktbeuern, Bavaria. This Continuum presents a wide variety of musical selections from this important medieval document of poems and dramatic texts mostly from the 11th or 12th century written principally in Medieval Latin; a few in Middle High German, and some with traces of Old French Provencal.

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