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We were delighted to award grants to the twenty-seven ensembles selected to receive the £100,000 raised from Continuo's donors for Grant Round Seven. Once again, the competition was very strong, with over fifty applications received. One third (nine) of the ensembles are new to Continuo Foundation grants.

Of the 27 high-quality, imaginative projects being supported by our grants, six are being created by recently-formed ensembles, with 25% of the funds allocated to this category for emerging groups. 

Grant Round Seven is supporting 96 performances and recordings between April and the end of October 2024, in 65 locations across the UK. This will bring the total number of communities benefiting from our support to 180. 

Since Continuo was founded in 2020, the total support provided for UK early music projects amounts to £750,000, awarded to 94 ensembles of whom 22 have been emerging ensembles. 

The 27 recipients of Grant Round Seven awards are:

Academy of Ancient Music - Armonico Consort - Bellot Ensemble - Consone Quartet - English Haydn Orchestra - Fiori Musicali - Fretwork - Galliarda - HGO Antiqua Orchestra - Istante Collective - La Nuova Musica - La Serenissima Manchester Baroque - The Mozartists - Musica d'Outrora - Newe Vialles - Norwich Baroque -  Palisander - Passamezzo - Phantasia - Pocket Sinfonia - Sestina Music - Sounds Historical - The Telling - The Vauxhall Band - Trouvere - ZAREK Trio.
Full details of the latest grant recipients and their projects can be viewed by clicking the button below.


Applicants were invited to request amounts ranging from £2,000 to £8,000 to support UK projects scheduled to take place from 1 April to 31 October 2024. For recently formed ensembles (formed ca. June 2020 - December 2023), we gave preference to live concerts or tours but considered recording projects if we felt this would make a difference to the ensemble's career prospects. 
For example, grant proceeds could be used by a period-instrument ensemble to:
  • enable a concert with a larger number of musicians at risk of being downsized
  • fund a new project where there is uncertainty about audience take-up
  • support a tour of a new or existing programme to new UK locations
  • fund the recording of repertoire not previously recorded
  • fund a chamber recital series
  • create a filmed concert which can be used to generate further touring opportunities
Grant requests could be for up to a maximum of 90% of the Project Cost, though most grants are supporting significantly less than 90% of the total funding. We always seek to support as many projects as possible within the £100,000 available. 


Eligible ensembles were UK-based professional groups of at least three musicians playing period instruments, or faithful replicas, with a consistent membership of instrumentalists, year-round activity and an identity as a period-instrument ensemble.

Proposed projects could include vocalists, or be collaborations with vocal ensembles, as long as the grant applicant was an instrumental ensemble meeting the description above. Projects could include new works commissioned for period instruments or combine early and contemporary repertoires in their programmes.

Previous Continuo Foundation grantees were eligible to apply provided they complied with the terms of their grant(s), including acknowledging Continuo Foundation's support on all publicity related to the project and submitting their post-project report(s).
The main objective of our grants is to mobilise projects of outstanding artistic merit which create meaningful work for freelance period musicians, and which bring period-instrument music to audiences across the UK, engaging and inspiring people and enriching communities. The key criteria for assessing applications are:
  • the artistic quality, creativity and originality of the proposed project; 
  • the number of instrumentalists engaged and the proportion of the grant funds dedicated to artists’ fees;
  • the extent to which new live or virtual audiences will be engaged; and
  • for recently formed ensembles, the extent to which the project proposed is realistic and will contribute to establishing the group's credentials and visibility, and support their future success.  
In choosing which projects to support, in addition to the considerations above, the Advisory Panel and Trustees will consider other factors in their decision-making. For the avoidance of doubt, ensembles do not need to meet all of the criteria below, the list is intended to give a sense of areas of interest. These include: 
  • public performances since 2021, including those cancelled due to Covid-19
  • critically acclaimed recordings (including CDs, broadcasts, videos, etc.) since 2021
  • support of early-career instrumentalists and vocalists 
  • innovative programming, including works by diverse composers 
  • diversity of performers and administrators 
  • involvement in outreach and education projects 
  • whether the ensemble is a UK registered charity 
The Trustees also consider the quality of the application itself, as we believe this is a reflection of the ensemble's ability to carry out the project to a high standard.
For ensembles formed between ca. June 2020 and December 2023, the assessors considered the areas set out below:
  • evidence of public performances (including any that were cancelled) 
  • background information on the musicians comprising the ensemble
  • the rationale for the formation of the group 
  • repertoire being explored, aspirations, etc.
The applicants in this category were asked to submit a 10-minute, unedited video of the ensemble performing together. This could be an extract from a live-streamed concert, or part of a performance filmed on a smart phone. If there is no film footage from performances, we would consider a video from a rehearsal. The video does not need to be professionally filmed - we look for the quality of the ensemble playing, not the quality of the video. 
NB - In order to be eligible, an ensemble must have had at least one public performance before 31st December 2023. The ensemble should demonstrate the intention to have a lasting presence, rather than gathering for a one-off project. 
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