Thais St. Julien

Co-Host, Continuum

Thaïs St. Julien has performed everything from Gregorian chant to Gershwin, appearing in recitals, concerts and opera across the U.S.  The New Orleans native is co-director (with founder Milton Scheuermann)of New Orleans Musica da Camera, performing music of the 11th through 19th centuries.  She created and directs the group’s  women’s vocal ensemble, Vox Feminae, sometimes writing and arranging music for them. She and Scheuermann co-host the ensemble’s weekly program of early music, Continuum, aired on  WWNO 89.9FM, streamed on wwno.org. Twelve Musica da Camera productions featuring the soprano as soloist have been broadcast on National Public Radio, American Public Radio and Public Radio International.

Her passion for 18th and 19th century New Orleans music has led to lectures and performances across the country. She was featured on the internationally acclaimed series “Creole Cameos” produced by WWNO, and “Arc Light”, a video series produced by Amistad Research Center. The soprano has recorded for the Newport Classics, Centaur, Belle Alliance and Clark Constructions record labels. Her closest brush with the movies was as historic music advisor for “Interview with the Vampire”.

Recipient of the 2007 Louisiana Artist Fellowship in Music, St. Julien is also a SouthernArtistry.org artist, and has received a Gambit “Tribute to the Classical Arts” Life Time Achievement Award and the Historic District Landmarks Commission’s Pioneer in Preservation Honor Award. She’s also profiled in several Marquis “Who’s Who” publications.

When not reading a mystery novel or doing historical research, she’s a magician, (it’s a performance art, after all, not that much different from music). She also belongs to some nifty organizations - the International Brotherhood of Magicians, the Society of American Magicians, the Knights of Slights and Mensa.

Ways to Connect

This Continuum program is devoted to the music of the Ars Subtilior (subtle art), an early 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 and in southern France in the 14th century. Often the term is used in contrast with Ars Nova, which applies to the musical style of the preceding period from about 1310 to about 1370.

Continuum presents a program devoted to Renaissance music performed on two of the most popular musical instruments of that period, the viola da gamba and, the lute. Performers include Ron McFarlane, Paul O'Dette and the famous Jodi Savall, all well known masters of their instruments.

This week,  Continuum features The Early Music Ensemble Gilles Binchois, now in its thirtieth year of performing medieval church music. The musicians are named after one of the most important composers of the 15th century Burgundian School. Your'll hear them perform Guillaume de Machaut’s 14th century Mass of Notre Dame, the first medieval polyphonic setting of a mass by a known single composer. The setting of this mass is thought to have been composed specifically for the Cathedral of Rheims.

This Continuum presents a program of early English music performed by a unique ensemble known as The King's Noyse, the leading North American Renaissance-style violin, viola and cello ensemble.

One of the major American early music ensembles, The Baltimore Consort, was founded in 1980. On this Continuum your'll hear a wide variety of excerpts from three of their CDs, featuring the female singer, Custer LaRue, who specializes in Renaissance music and traditional Folk music.

A very large repertoire of Sephardic music is available on CD recordings. Continuum is pleased to present a wide selection of Songs of the Sephardim from their library performed by three recognized ensembles who play this music expertly.

This Continuum is a program devoted to the various aspects of medieval love. The performers are three noted ensembles specializing in early music, namely our own New Orleans Musica da Camera, Sequentia and the Boston Camerata. Recordings used are Maiden, Mother, Muse (New Orleans Musica da Camera) - Centaur CRC 2434, Dante and the Troubadours (Sequentia) - Deutsche Harmonia Mundi 05472-7727-2, and Tristan et Iseult (The Boston Camerata) - Erato ECD 75528. 

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.

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