Forthcoming Performances

29 October 2021, 7.30 pm
Friends of Chamber Music Kansas City, Grace & Holy Trinity Cathedral, Kansas City, USA

8 December 2021
Actus humanus
, Main town Hall, Gdansk, Poland

27 January 2023
Prince Anneberg Center, Philiadelphia PA, USA


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Mr. Bagby comes as close to holding hundreds of people in a spell as ever a man has... That is much too rare an experience in theater. — The New York Times

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Benjamin Bagby's teaching activities in 2019

After retiring from his teaching position at the University of Paris - Sorbonne, where he taught between 2005 and 2018 in the professional masters program, Benjamin Bagby continues to travel widely in 2019 to teach practical workshops for young professionals:

Folkwang Universität der Künste (Essen-Werden, Germany).
Benjamin has joined the faculty of this renowned masters program for liturgical chant performance and medieval music. The dates of his courses in 2019: 5-7 April; 26-28 April; 17-19 May; 30 May–01 June.
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For the second year in a row, Benjamin will teach an intensive course in the 8th International Course on Medieval Music Performance (Besalú, Spain): Songs of the troubadours (for singers and instrumentalists).
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Amherst Early Music Festival (Connecticut College, New London CT) 21-28 July:
An intensive course on the solo cansos of the Occitan troubadours, with a focus on songs from the great Milan songbook Bibl. Ambr. R71 sup. (for singers and instrumentalists).
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Benjamin Bagby's activities as teacher/lecturer in 2017, linked to his performances

At the invitation of the music department, Benjamin taught a performance workshop on the music of Hildegard von Bingen for students at Princeton University (29 March), where he also performed 'Beowulf' in a collaborative production with digital light designer Craig Winslow. Following this, at the invitation of the medieval studies program and the English department, he gave a lecture on his work with reconstructing the 'Beowulf' performance, at Yale University (3 April).

At the Université Paris – Sorbonne, where Benjamin is on the faculty, the yearly 'Entretiens de la musique ancienne' were held this year in honor of his life-long work with reconstructing 'lost songs'. The main event was his performance of 'Beowulf' (11 May), with French video titles, in the Amphithéâtre Richelieu of the Sorbonne, followed by two days of symposium at the university's Centre Clignancourt, sponsored by the historical music organization IREMUS and the musicology department of the university. During this symposium, Benjamin gave a lecture on his work with reconstructed harps and the kinds of clues they can provide ('Beowulf ': dans l'atelier d'un conteur d'histoires).

Sorbonne honors Bagby

Benjamin Bagby honored as a ‘professeur distingué’ by the University of Paris - Sorbonne, in recognition of his recent REMA award. He has been on the faculty of the Sorbonne since 2005, where he teaches performance practice in the master’s program for medieval music.

Benjamin Bagby to Receive Prestigious Award

Sequentia’s co-founder and artistic director Benjamin Bagby has been awarded the REMA Early Music Artist Award for 2016. It will be presented to him during a ceremony in Basel, Switzerland, on 17 March 2017 (the same day as Sequentia’s performance of ‘Monks Singing Pagans’ for the Freunde Alte Musik Basel). REMA is the largest European early music network. See an interview with Benjamin here.


Benjamin Bagby has recorded the only surviving Old High German epic fragment, the Hildebrandslied (The Song of Hildebrand), for inclusion in an audiobook version of Adam Gidwitz’s new book for children and young adults, The Inquisitor’s Tale, just released by Penguin/Random House. He also recorded harp accompaniments to go with portions of the reading of the story. Benjamin Bagby will perform the Hildebrandslied and other songs at book release event on April 1, 2017.

Early Beowulf reconstruction tape

Listen to one of the earliest recordings of Benjamin Bagby’s Beowulf reconstruction, made in ca. 1987 (almost 30 years ago). It was originally released as a cassette tape together with a publication on voices and instruments in the Middle Ages. The book is long out of print, and John Tucker has kindly digitized the recording and put it on his website.

Copenhagen early music festival

Following his performance of Beowulf in Copenhagen’s early music festival ‘Renaissance/SOLO’ in October, Benjamin Bagby talked with the audience about his work, and was saved at some point with a glass of good Danish beer. Photo: Denis Khomenko

Benjamin Bagby solo performance: The Voyager: Medieval Songs of Exile, Wandering and Travel

In January 2015 Benjamin Bagby premiered a new solo program at the Musée de Cluny in Paris: the theme was travel and the songs of travellers in the Middle Ages. The live concert was filmed by Laurent Hadrien and a short film has been produced, with excerpts from the performance and added commentary by Bagby.

Beowulf in Russia

On 8 September 2015, Benjamin Bagby performed Beowulf for the first time in the Russian Federation, in the Tchaikowsky Conservatory in Moscow. Bagby also coached an ensemble of Moscow early music performers preparing for their Russian premiere of the 'Roman de Fauvel' on 12 September at the festival La Renaissance. For this significant event, Bagby also worked with Russian instrumentalists Ivan Velikanov, Danil Ryabchikov and French vocalist Marc Mauillon.

Pyotr Pospelov, one of the most prominent critics on the Russian classical music scene, wrote a review for the Moscow newspaper Vedomosti entitled Medieval Beowulf at La Renaissance Festival:

It turns out that orcs were not invented by Tolkien

‘...Bagby has been performing the poem for many years, and this 80-minute piece, occupying the whole concert, is burnished up to brilliance: the singer works with the sounds of the Old English language, obscure to modern English speakers, and with the sound of his flexible, expressive and resoundingbaritone... the artist reaches an impressive intonation and rhythmical diversity... reciting, chanting, singing long melismas, switching to a complex pattern of text, savouring each syllable... 

...Modern teenage culture with its trolls and orcs presented itself in Bagby’s performance in its original purity. Nowadays an ethno-performer, living in our pop-music age, could, probably, be glad to know that an ancient bard at a feast in a castle used similar rhythms and techniques…'

(Translation by Danil Ryabchikov)

Beowulf at the Utrecht Early Music Festival

On 29-30 August, Benjamin Bagby celebrated the 25th anniversary of his first performance of Beowulf at the Utrecht Early Music Festival, performing again to sold-out houses in Utrecht's RASA Theatre. See the festival's promotional video in which Bagby appears to discuss his work:

Review in the Spanish daily El Paìs

Bagby's Beowulf performed in Carnegie Hall, New York City

On 22 April 2014, Benjamin Bagby performed a version of Beowulf as part of a series of concerts curated by American composer David Lang.

Collected Stories: Hero

This inventive program, curated by composer-in-residence David Lang, examines the use of music to prop up a heroic character or underscore an anti-hero. Vocalist, harpist, and scholar Benjamin Bagby performs scenes from his dramatic interpretation of the Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf, followed by the Harry Partch Institute Ensemble's performance of The Wayward, Partch’s collection of musical compositions based on the spoken and written words of hobos riding trains, hitchhiking, and searching for nourishment during the Great Depression in the Western United States.

Benjamin Bagby, voice and Anglo-Saxon harp
Harry Partch Institute Ensemble

BENJAMIN BAGBY Scenes from Beowulf
PARTCH The Wayward

New York Times review

This concert was listed among the 'Ten Best Classical Music Events of 2014' by the New York Times!

Some Recent Performances

11 May 2019, Trollhättan Early Music Festival, Sweden: Beowulf

16 June 2019, Putney, VT (USA), Yellow Barn Festival: Beowulf

19-20 November 2018, Madrid

17 October 2018, London (British Library)

30 September 2018, New York City (Music Before 1800)

23 August 2018, Antwerpen, Belgium / Laus Polyphoniae Festival

05 May 2018, Canberra International Music Festival (Australia)

08 March 2018, Poughkeepsie, NY / Vassar College, 7 pm (postponed from 07 March)

01 March 2018, Dallas, Texas / Nasher Sculpture Center

27 February 2018, Omaha, Nebraska / University of Nebraska

11 May 2017, Université de Paris–Sorbonne, Amphithéâtre Richelieu (France)

02 April 2017, Yale University (New Haven CT)

01 April 2017, Symphony Space, New York City (Hildebrandslied)

30 March 2017, Princeton University (Princeton NJ)

24 March 2017, Lafayette College (Easton PA)

February 23, 2012

Washington D.C. (USA)
Gaston Hall
Georgetown University
video titles in English


Sequentia (Benjamin Bagby and Norbert Rodenkirchen)
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25 and 26 February, Houston TX (Rothko Chapel)

3 March, Wellesley MA (Houghton Chapel)

6 March, New York City NY (Morgan Library) 

November 19, 2011: INVOCATION - International Vocal Night, Köln (Germany)

November 30, 2011: Basel (Schweiz): Museum Tinguely

October 8, 2011: Konstanz (D), Archäologisches Museum Baden-Württemberg – 'Hildebrandslied, Heliand und Beowulf'

September 2, 2011: Wratislava Cantans Festival / Poland

September 29, 2011: Claremont McKenna College, Claremont, CA / USA  

October 4, 2011: Wake Forest University, Winston- Salem, North Carolina / USA

August 27, 2011: Fränkischer Sommer / Germany

November 20, 2010: London, British Library

October 22, 2010: California University of Pennsylvannia, California, PA

October 26, 27, 29 and 30, 2010: Cal Performances, Zellerbach Theater, Berkeley, CA

November 4, 2010: Chesterton, Maryland, Washington College, Decker Hall

November 5, 2010: Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA

July 16, 2010: Madison Early Music Festival, Mills Concert Hall, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

July 21, 2010: Tanglewood Music Festival, Ozawa Hall, Lenox, MA

25-28 October, 2009: London, UK, British Library: Beowulf 1000: A Celebration of a Heroic Poem

A four-day celebration of the magnificent Anglo-Saxon epic in performance, readings, discussion, family events and workshops, tohether with a new display of the unique surviving manuscript.

  • 25/10/09: performance (London, British Library)
  • 26/10/09: performance (London, BL)
  • 27/10/09: round table discussion with poet Seamus Heaney (London, BL)
  • 28/10/09: performance (London, BL)

September 6, 2009: Vokalmusik entlang der Romanischen Straße, Germany
(For details, consult

June 18, 2009: Ancona, Italy
Presenter: Cantar Lontano Festival, organized by E lucevan le stelle
Venue: Abbazia di Sant'Elena,,

July 21, 2009: Vendôme, France, 21h00
Presenter: Le CliO (Conservatoire contemporain de Littérature Orale)
Quartier Rochambeau, 41100 Vendôme, France, Tél. 02 54 72 26 76

November 10, 2008, 8:00 – Hanover, NH
Rollins Chapel
Dartmouth College

November 1, 2008, 8:00 – Vancouver, BC
UBC Recital Hall

March 8, 2009,  1:00 – New York, NY
The Cloisters

February 28, 2009, 8:00 – Kansas City, MO
Grace and Holy Trinity Church