We are thrilled to have reached our second round launch target of £100,000 and to have opened for grant applications on 13 July.

The submission deadline has now passed and applications are being evaluated by our expert Advisory Panel and Trustees.  

Decisions are expected by 21 September 2021. 

The objective of the second round of grants is to continue to provide the funds and confidence needed for ensembles to plan and carry out a range of artistically excellent projects that will create employment for freelance musicians.

These grants will allow projects between October 2021 and March 2022 to proceed in spite of the restrictions and uncertainty around audiences. In Round 2, we also aim to encourage projects across the UK, particularly in underserved regions.


Applicants were invited to request amounts ranging from £2,000 to £10,000 to support UK projects scheduled to take place between October 2021 and 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 may be for up to a maximum of 90% of the Project Cost. Applicants will be asked to provide a credible plan for the complementary project funding.
Continuo Foundation expects to award grants to 15-20 ensembles, based on current funds available. The final number will depend upon the quality of the applications received, the amounts requested and the funds available at the time of making the decisions (September 2021). 


Eligible ensembles will be 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 project may include vocalists, as long as there are a minimum of three instrumentalists. Projects may also include new works commissioned for period instruments or combine early and contemporary repertoires in their programmes.

For avoidance of doubt, Continuo Foundation first round grantees are eligible to apply.
The main objective of this round of grants is to mobilise projects of outstanding artistic merit which create work for as many freelance period musicians as possible and which bring period-instrument music to engage new audiences across the UK. The key criteria for assessing applications in this round of grants are:
  • 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 virtual audiences will be engaged. 
In choosing which projects to support, in addition to the considerations above, there will be an assessment of the artistic excellence and recent activity of each ensemble. For the avoidance of doubt, ensembles do not need to meet all of the criteria below; the list is 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