Benjamin Bagby - Performing Beowulf: Notes from the Workshop of a Reconstructed ‘Singer of Tales’

Event time: 
Monday, April 3, 2017 - 5:00pm
Linsly-Chittenden Hall (LC), LC 317 See map
63 High St.
New Haven, CT 06511
Event description: 

In connection with Yale’s Program in Medieval Studies, and Yale Institute of Sacred Music, the Yale University Department of English is pleased to present Benjamin Bagby — medievalist, musician and 21st-century bard.

In 1974 Bagby founded – together with the late Barbara Thornton – the ensemble for medieval music, Sequentia, which was based in Cologne, Germany, for 25 years. Both Mr. Bagby and Sequentia are now based in Paris.

In addition to his activities as singer, harper and director of Sequentia, Benjamin Bagby writes about performance practice and teaches widely in Europe and North America. He is currently on the faculty of the Sorbonne University in Paris, where he teaches in the master’s program for medieval music performance practice.

In addition to his work with Beowulf, Mr. Bagby and Sequentia have produced two CDs of musical reconstructions from the medieval Icelandic Edda, one of which, ‘The Rheingold Curse’, was also staged by Ping Chong. The ensemble’s most recent CD, ‘Fragments for the End of Time’, explores early medieval songs about the Apocalypse.

A DVD production of Mr. Bagby’s ‘Beowulf’ performance, filmed by Stellan Olsson in Sweden, became available in 2007. It contains numerous extra features, including interviews with noted Anglo-Saxonists and the performer.


This event has been generously co-sponsored by the Yale Program in Medieval Studies, The Institute of Sacred Music, the Department of English and the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments.

Open to: 
Yale Community Only