Continuo has awarded grants to 85 outstanding UK period-instrument ensembles.
The impact of these grants has been significant both for the ensembles and artists themselves but also the wider Historical Performance and Classical Music sectors - and communities across the UK. We have been humbled by the feedback received and have shared a selection below.
FIFTH ROUND GRANTEES
"Your support has helped us to achieve one of our long term goals, to work with our own group of singers with instrumentalists, in a way where text and playing can inspire the other. We are confident that this represents the beginning of another exciting direction for our ensemble. We want to remain a core chamber ensemble, but with a reputation for expanding in different directions to meet the demands of unjustly neglected repertoire. Thank you so much again. You provide hope and confidence in our industry!"
"We cannot express enough our gratitude towards Continuo Foundation for helping us in these first stages of our ensemble’s existence. It would have been almost impossible to make such a dream project happen without this grant. The existence of a funding body such as Continuo Foundation is something very special and rare, particularly in the current economic climate. Its accessibility for musicians, and the ease of communication between Continuo and the ensemble, is truly unique and is contributing to a real sense of excitement within the early music world."
"We have come a long way in the last couple of years and so much is down to the support of the Continuo Foundation. It's one thing to have ideas and ambition for a project, but a completely different thing to have them alongside the support to make them happen and bring them to the attention of others! We're so thankful for the support and can't overestimate the opportunities that it's enabled for us."
"We will have our first London concert in December at Wigmore Hall in a collaboration with Siglo de Oro. Without Continuo Foundation's support, this would not have been possible, thank you!"
The Spinacino Consort
"Thank you so much for all your help, and everything you’ve done to make Continuo possible – a number of our instrumentalists have been beneficiaries in previous rounds, and the work they were able to subsequently create made a huge difference to their wellbeing in the aftermath of the pandemic, and their careers since.
Musica Antica Rotherhithe
"Delighted to announce that we have been awarded a generous grant by Continuo Foundation to create two new concert programmes in four different venues, and to make a video so that we can share our music with a wider audience."
"We couldn't be more proud to be part of this impressive line up of ensembles! Continuo plays such an important role in the early music world and has supported so many musicians and projects over 5 rounds of funding."
"An amazing group of projects here! Continuo Foundation is such an incredible force for creativity!"
FOURTH ROUND GRANTEES
"Thank you for supporting our ambitious recording project that has taken years of research and musical preparation to reach this stage. I believe the endorsement of Continuo Foundation itself helped to attract further funding. You have created a remarkable organisation—one of the most important in the UK early music scene in a long time."
Harmonious Society of Tickle Fiddle Gentlemen
"Continuo Foundation has played a vital role in the success of 'Inspiring Bach' by offering financial support when we needed it most. The grant was hugely impactful, marking out our work as of considerable merit in our field, helping to attract more patrons and interest from audiences and promoters."
"Kuhnau 300 was a hugely successful project for Solomon’s Knot, both artistically, financially and digitally. It raised our profile in regions beyond London and helped to secure our place as a permanent resident ensemble at Wigmore Hall."
"We are so grateful to be one of the recipient ensembles of the @ContinuoFndn Round 4 Grants! This grant will go towards recording our Secrets of Andalusia programme with @LusardiIgnacio: featuring Flamenco, Sephardic songs, Arabic music and Spanish composers from 15th-18thC"
Lux Musicae London
"This concert feels like a turning point – it has solidified the core team and creative identity of Figure. For the future, we have a much clearer vision of the kind of work we want to make, and have developed our track record of being able to deliver unique music experiences. We are moving to the next stage as an organisation, with an ambitious programme for 2023. Thank you so much to Continuo Foundation for making all this possible."
"We are thrilled to announce that Continuo Foundation have given us support to extend and build upon our hugely successful Baroque & Beyond Summer series! We look forward to running a pilot in Fence, Lancashire, and two winter concerts in Derbyshire. We couldn't do this without support and so are very grateful indeed to Continuo Foundation for their support and vision."
Baroque in the North
"We're honoured to have been awarded a Grant and thrilled to be in such great company with our fellow grantees. Continuo Foundation really has changed the cultural landscape for early music groups; we're delighted to be a part of it. Thank you!"
The Brook Street Band
THIRD ROUND GRANTEES
"The grant had a transformational effect on the group, allowing us move forward with the project of music by the Scottish renaissance poet and composer Elizabeth Melville. With plans for a recording and developing the programme into a concert-play, we are grateful to be able to promote ourselves thanks to Continuo's help with this project."
The Spinacino Consort
"Your support has also helped us to achieve a long-held goal, to create a truly “immersive” Early Music experience for our audience in a non-standard concert venue. Crucially, the publicity and interest surrounding this project reached beyond traditional Early Music audiences and had a substantial impact on our profile beyond the classical music mainstream. We are confident that this represents the beginning of an exciting direction for our ensemble – thank-you once again!"
"Your grant enabled us to forge ahead and build on our pre-pandemic successes to create equal access for low-engaged communities. It enabled us to re-establish residencies in areas of economic disadvantage, where performing arts organisations dare not tour: including Barrow/Cumbria, Wolverhampton, Folkestone and Mistley, near Manningtree (one of our musicians lives there).
"Noxwode are extremely keen to fulfil their vision of taking the music they are passionate about to a range of audiences far and wide, especially those who rarely access live Early music. Without the support of Continuo Foundation, the group will not be able to perform very far afield, nor will the group be able to afford a video recording which is so essential at this stage of its career."
"Continuo Foundation's grant came at a perfect time for us to capitalise on the work we’d accomplished both pre pandemic and during the worst of the lock down. Employing musicians, broadening our repertoire and creating high quality material to promote the ensemble to ever growing audiences are three essential elements that will help ensure PRB’s future sustainability."
The Prince Regent's Band
"Without the possibility of a grant, we would not have been able to consider taking a risk of this scale in promoting performances when audience numbers at live events are still so low. Funding enabled us to book the same group of musicians for every concert over a patch of four days. This has massive benefits for group sound and cohesion; it also made the administration of the project relatively manageable for our tiny team. The experience was good for team morale and we hope this will be a prototype for future mini-tours of this kind."
"We were able to travel to the South-East of England and reach new audiences there and through our online presence we have had a lot of buzz around the project such that we have been able to secure two more dates to perform this project in the near future. The grant has enabled us to engage artists and therefore has enabled us to secure future performances through our success in the first performances."
"Without Continuo Foundation’s grant, putting on a tour of 16th century music played on renaissance viols with 5 professional musicians would be simply impossible. As a relatively new ensemble, the grant has given us the confidence to reach new audiences and venues. The development of our tour with Héloïse Bernard is a direct result of the 2021 Josquin 500 project funded by Continuo Foundation in 2021... Having such a vibrant organisation, which not only supports financially, but also invests so much time and passion into promoting the performances, is wonderful. Thank you so much for your support."
Linarol Consort of Viols
"The immediate impact of the grant was to rescue us from the risk of a second successive year of financial losses, which may well have made it unviable to continue… The grant has also allowed us to develop our musical understanding and the ensemble’s sound, which are aspects that are especially important to us as specialists in the early end of the baroque era. In short, thanks to the Continuo Foundation’s support, we have been able to connect with new audiences, develop the ensemble musically, recover from Covid-related financial losses, and consolidate a new, ongoing relationship with a festival we had not previously visited."
Monteverdi String Band
"The concert was performed to a full nave in Chichester Cathedral, one of the biggest audiences we have ever played to! The funding from Continuo Foundation meant that we could spend more time rehearsing and preparing the project than would otherwise have been possible, and also meant we could offer the cathedral choristers an extra session in which we introduced them to the viols... They were a lively and inquisitive group of youngsters, and I hope we may have sown some seeds of future interest in our type of music. We are really grateful to the Foundation for its support, which made this possible."
Rose Consort of Viols
"We are so grateful to Continuo Foundation for their support in so many ways. As well as being one of our funders, they tirelessly work in promoting early music projects and support the entire early music sector in a thought-through and holistic way that no one else has before. Their work is so very much needed - now more than ever.”
"We were quite overcome on each occasion by the extent to which our audiences enjoyed the event. We had a variety of ages, including children, at each event. We were welcomed in each venue by members of the community who thanked us for coming to their village.... The impact of Continuo Foundation’s grant for Baroque In The North has been two-fold. It has enabled us to capitalise on a successful Baroque & Beyond pilot, thus providing a valuable income for the performers and also contributing to the strategic growth of the organisation, which was delayed by the pandemic."
Baroque in the North
"This project has given us the opportunity to step out as performers and engage audiences in a completely new way. It has taken us into new performance spaces, introduced us to new audiences, and helped us form relationships with organisations who are already working with artists and local communities. We have also road-tested a new multi-disciplinary experience of historical performance practice. In short, the grant has unlocked a number of doors for our ensemble which we wouldn’t haven’t been able to access otherwise."
SECOND ROUND GRANTEES
"This project could not have taken place without the Continuo Foundation’s grant for which we are deeply grateful. The artistic benefit for the Rautio Piano Trio is immeasurable as it was the focal point of our winter season where there was virtually no work due to the pandemic. It enabled us not only to keep our creative juices alive, but develop and bring to fruition our exciting new project. Performing the concerts and subsequently recording our new CD enabled us to be deeply immersed in refining our interpretation and fine-tuning our approach to performing with fortepiano. Curating the ‘Dawn of the Piano Trio’ gives us a new programme with which we will be promoting the trio’s work. This has an enormous impact on our future sustainability as a group as we begin to rebuild our concert diary after the pandemic."
Rautio Piano Trio
"Without a grant from Continuo Foundation, the tour almost certainly would not have happened, especially the concerts in the smaller venues… We appreciated the chance to build a unique programme around the fascinating stories of female composers and to help to address the imbalance in music history books... In addition, we welcomed the opportunity to raise the profile of the group on social media networks, particularly the valuable connection with Continuo Foundation’s own superb marketing networks. This is a lasting benefit for the group as we learn to grow our audience in these changing times!”
"This event and Continuo Foundation's support already helped put Bach Club in people’s minds, and we are planning to use recorded material from the concert to apply to festivals and promoters, so that we can present this programme again, and hopefully take it on tour. This would not be possible without the trust and support we received from you."
Bach Club Soloists
"Continuo Foundation’s grant gave us the confidence to carry out this ambitious project (this is the largest number of musicians we’ve ever engaged for a performance in the Holywell Music Room). The student consort coaching project that the grant allowed us to run was an entirely new scheme for us, and the enthusiastic response from the participants and their friends has encouraged us to offer similar coaching going forward!"
Instruments of Time & Truth
"The impact of Continuo Foundation’s grant for Pocket Sinfonia has been huge. Being able to hire a fortepiano and knowing that we could pay fees to each player enabled the concerts in Sherborne and London to happen. Being able to do a whole week of concerts together, rather than a one-off concert, was extremely beneficial for Pocket Sinfonia’s artistic growth as an ensemble. It allowed us to grow musically throughout the week and experience the benefits of repeating a programme a few times in quick succession. Finally, Continuo Foundation’s grant has significantly influenced the morale of the group. All members have been working on future plans with a notably renewed vigour and energy."
“Making a recording of a longish opera, with six soloist singers and a 19-piece orchestra, is not, as you know, a cheap exercise, and we are most grateful for Continuo’s help in making it happen. In the process, we have given fruitful work to a good bunch of freelance singers and players. When we asked them, during lockdown, how we could help, they all said, “Give us work”; with your help, we have done just that.”
Early Opera Company
"I wanted to say what a huge difference you have made to the early music world. Of course, there is a huge need now but even before the pandemic there was a gap of support for many of the smaller ensembles who are so often unable or inexperienced in tapping into funding. You’ve totally changed that and created a fairer playing field for smaller organisations. Thank you!"
“I can’t tell you how much this has lifted our spirits in these extremely uncertain times, and how exciting it is to be able to communicate this news to our partner promoters across the country. Continuo Foundation is a truly extraordinary initiative, and I know I am not alone in the early music community in wishing to extend my deepest gratitude and admiration for what you are doing.”
“Your support is the catalyst that has allowed us to grow our projects into much more meaningful music making, help it to reach so many more people, and it has given us such a feeling of purpose and belonging even when so much is uncertain!”
FIRST ROUND GRANTEES
"As a small, player-run ensemble with absolutely no ‘back office’ support, the financial help from Continuo paired with the ongoing marketing support and the continuous encouragement we have received have meant a huge amount to us. The challenge of mounting an ensemble project in the current climate is as much psychological as financial, because of the continuous stress and uncertainty. Knowing that Continuo Foundation ‘had our back’ has made more difference than I can express. Thank you!"
Boxwood & Brass
"The impact that Continuo Foundation has had in such a short time, and for so many people, is immense. Not only did the grant make our project possible, but it also gave us invaluable support - both financial and psychological - during a most challenging time, not just for the music industry but for all of us as individuals."
"Overall, receiving this grant has been invaluable for us as an ensemble, and has given us hope and confidence for our future. We all feel that the support and encouragement we have received has helped us significantly in cementing the identity of our ensemble, and in moving along the path from emerging to established artists within the UK Historically Informed Performance scene. Most important, the Continuo Foundation’s support and belief in our work boosted our morale at an exceptionally challenging time - thank-you!"
“As a recent graduate at the time the pandemic began, it was unsettling, trying to find motivation and to not just become defeated by the whole situation. The work Joglaresa carried out following the award of your grant in March meant that I found a purpose for music again and felt like I was working with others in a meaningful and creative way.”
Young Musician with Joglaresa
“We are in an incomparably better place than we might have been without the grant: excellent press, renewed interest from our patrons, new repertoire for quartet and experience of giving great concerts in our new quartet formation. It is difficult to find adequate words to express our gratitude to Continuo Foundation.”
“We had a wonderful first day today; it was so lovely to be together again, and it was the first time we’ve had our first violinist, Rachel, with us in 21 months. There were lots of tears of joy. Thank you for making this possible and giving us a project to dare to dream about.”
The Brook Street Band
“The project was tremendously invigorating for the ensemble as it gave us a focus and direction at a time when there might have been despondency that things were never going to get back to normal. It was the first performance we had done in front of a live audience since October 2020, and it gave us the time and space to rehearse and perform some wonderful music to a high level.”
“The impact this project has had for us cannot be underestimated. The opportunity to spend focused time rehearsing and recording together was inspiring, creative, moving and healing after the past year. As an early-career ensemble (ranging from ages 26-35), the grant from Continuo Foundation has not only made this project possible, but has given us an intensive period of rehearsal that has taken our ensemble to the next level of music making.”
“To be able to bring Handel’s music to life with like-minded musicians gave me the momentum I needed to believe being a musician in these times still makes sense. For this I would like to extend my most heartfelt thanks to the Continuo Foundation and all its supporters."
Young Musician with TEC
"The recording of Handel’s La Resurrezione was a joyful occasion... It was the first time the orchestra had been able to properly work together in many months… Thanks to the generous funding by Continuo Foundation we were able to feel real hope that the clouds are lifting and we are all hugely grateful for their support."
The English Concert