ROUND 2 GRANTS AWARDED

Having reached our launch target of £100,000 and opened for grant applications on 13 July, we are thrilled to have been able to award second round grants to twenty-three ensembles. 

Following a rigorous evaluation process by our expert Advisory Panel and Trustees, support is being extended to the projects of fourteen ensembles who are new to Continuo Foundation and nine who also received a first round grant. 
 
The 23 ensembles awarded second round grants are: Academy of Ancient Music, Amyas, Bach Club Soloists, The Brook Street Band,  Chelys Consort of Viols, Concerto Caledonia, The Early Opera Company Ltd, The English Concert, Ensemble Augelletti, Ex Cathedra, Feinstein Ensemble, Florilegium, Fontanella, Fretwork, Gabrieli Consort & Players, Instruments of Time and Truth, Istante Collective, The Mozartists, Passacaglia Trio, Pocket Sinfonia, Rautio Piano Trio, Sounds Baroque and The Telling.

Full details of the ensembles and their projects, as well as performance dates, will be available on the website soon.

APPLICATION PROCESS

Applicants were invited to request amounts ranging from £2,000 to £10,000 to support UK projects scheduled to take place before the end of March 2022.
For example, grant proceeds could be used by a period-instrument ensemble:
 
  • to provide the funding to mobilise a performance at risk of being cancelled 
  • to fund a new project where there is uncertainty about audience size 
  • to fund a chamber recital series
  • to tour an existing programme to new UK locations
  • to fund the research and recording of new repertoire
  • to help fund a recording project
Grant requests could be for up to a maximum of 90% of the Project Cost. Applicants were asked to provide a credible plan for the complementary project funding.

SELECTION CRITERIA

ELIGIBILITY
Eligible ensembles were UK-based professional groups of at least three musicians playing period instruments, or faithful replicas, and focusing primarily on music repertoires from the Middle Ages up until the early 19th century. The proposed projects could include vocalists, as long as there were a minimum of three instrumentalists. Projects could also include new works commissioned for period instruments or combine early and contemporary repertoires in their programmes.
EVALUATION
The main objective of this round of grants was to mobilise projects of outstanding artistic merit which create work for as many freelance musicians as possible, and which bring excellent period music to engage new audiences across the UK. The key criteria for assessing applications in this round of grants were:
 
  • the artistic merit and originality of the proposed project; 
  • the number of instrumentalists engaged and the proportion of the grant funds dedicated to artists’ fees; and
  • the extent to which new live or online audiences will be engaged. 
 
In choosing which projects to support, in addition to the considerations above, there was an assessment of the artistic excellence and recent activity of each ensemble. For the avoidance of doubt, ensembles did not need to meet all of the criteria below; the list was designed to give a sense of the areas being looked at by the Advisory Panel and Trustees in their decision-making. These include: 
  • public performances, including those cancelled in 2020, since 2018
  • critically acclaimed recordings (including CDs, broadcasts, videos, etc.) since 2018 
  • confirmed concert bookings cancelled due to Covid-19
  • 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 
  • registered UK charity