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

This week on Continnum Milton Scheuermann and Thais St. Julien present early music of the Ars Subtilior (more subtle art). This is a musical style characterized by rhythmic and notational complexity, centered in Paris, Avignon in southern France, also in northern Spain at the end of the fourteenth century.

Performers include Ensemble Organum, The Orlando Consort, and The Huelgas Ensemble. The music is from the CD Harmonia Mundi - Century 7, from the ten CD set of Early Music on the Harmonia Mundi label.

This week on Continnum Milton Scheuermann and Thais St. Julien present examples of the first forms of polyphony, music composed for two or more melodies performed at the same time. Various examples are presented, including 12th Century Polyphony in Aquitaine, music from the 12th century School of Notre Dame, hockets from the 13th century Bamberg Manuscript, and motets from the 13th century Montpellier Codex.

This week on Continnum Milton Scheuermann and Thais St. Julien present music from the collection of over 300 dances by the German composer Michael Praetorius (1571-1621).

He published these under the name "Terpsichore", after the Greek Muse of the Dance. Included also are a few dances by the English contemporary of Praetorius, composer William Brade (1560-1630). The Capriccio Stravagante Renaissance Orchestra performs under the direction of Skip Sempe.

The CD is: Terpsichore, Paradizo PA0011.

This week on Continnum Milton Scheuermann and Thais St. Julien present a brand new recording by New Orleans born Skip Sempe, directing his Paris based Capriccio Stravagante and also the Collegium Vocale of Gent. The music is the Requiem Mass of Baroque composer Jean Gilles (1668-1705).

This music was performed at the funeral of famous Baroque composer Jean-Philippe Rameau, on 27 September 1764, 250 years ago. Rameau was one of the most famous of the French Baroque composers as well as a recognized music theorist of his time.

This week on Continnum, Milton Scheuermann and Thais St. Julien present a live recording of the concert by New Orleans Musica da Camera, Jongleur, Jester, Trickster, performed on 25 March 2012 at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church from their CD of the same name (Belle Alliance BA 006).

There's also a closing Estampie dance by New York's Ensemble for Early Music from the CD, Istanpitta II  (Lyrichord EMS 8022).

This week on Continuum, Milton Scheuermann & Thais St. Julien celebrate the music of the ensemble Sequentia with A Sequentia Festival, using the CDs  Spielmann und Kleriker by Sequentia (DHM 7 49704 2 ), Oswald von Wolkenstein - Songs by Sequentia (DHM 05472-77302-2), and Trouveres by Sequentia (DHM 77155-2-RC).

This week on Continuum, Milton Scheuermann and Thais St. Julien conclude their series of Memorandum XXI with Part V, featuring the CD Memorandum XXI - Part V by Capriccio Stravagante Renaissance

Orchestra (Paradiso PA0012).

This week on Continuum, Milton Scheuermann plays early dance music from the CDs A Dance in the Garden of Mirth by The Dufay Collective (Chandos CHAN 9320) and Istanpitta II by New York Ensemble for Early Music (Lyrichord LEMS 8022).

This week on Continuum, Milton and Thais play early music centered around Henry VIII from the CDs If Love Now Reigned by the Isaak Ensemble Heidelberg (Bayer Records BR 100132 CD) and Music for Henry VIII by The Hilliartd Ensemble (Saga Classics SCD 9003).

This week on Continuum, Milton Scheuermann features music from the CD The Celtic Viol II  by Jordi Savall (Alia Vox AVSA 9878).

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