Grants will address the needs of period-instrument ensembles of all sizes. Once sufficient funds are raised, we will launch the first round of urgently-needed grants to mobilise artistic projects otherwise economically unviable due to Covid-19 restrictions. This will immediately create employment for freelance musicians. The grant application process will seek to harness the creativity of ensembles and to make a transformative impact on the sector and its musicians. This increased activity across the UK will also provide opportunities for young artists entering the field. 
The Trustees, in consultation with the expert Advisory Panel, will rigorously assess the individual grant proposals to choose the most meritorious and allocate the available funds accordingly. The selection process will prioritise artistic excellence, originality, and employment for freelance musicians.
Continuo Foundation aims to award grants to between twenty and thirty ensembles, and will closely monitor the use of funds and provide ongoing advice and support to grantees. See Eligibility Criteria below. 



Grants will be flexible in order to provide for the differing needs of ensembles of all sizes. Application guidelines and processes will be streamlined and will allow for artistic creativity in the development of funding proposals, with the primary aim of increasing activity and providing performance opportunities for freelance musicians now and in future.  


Grants will focus on helping ensembles to navigate the challenges of adapting to the Covid-19 situation as it evolves over the next three years, the estimated time required to return to normal concert schedules and re-build financial sustainability.
Continuo Foundation will also support ensembles with advocacy, advice, and the development of more efficient models of functioning, to enhance the sector’s financial resilience and increase its artistic activity.


Eligible ensembles will play period instruments or faithful replicas, and focus on music repertories from the Middle Ages up until the early 19th century. Other criteria which will be considered include: 
  • three or more instrumentalists in a group 
  • a minimum of four years of well-received public performances  
  • at least two critically acclaimed recordings since 2017 
  • demonstrable loss of income due to the Covid-19 pandemic 
  • financial need based in part on ineligibility for public or alternative funding  
  • viable plans and prospects for a return to financial sustainability 
  • track record of supporting early career artists 
  • history of and plans for innovative programming 
  • commitment to programming compositions by women and people of colour 
  • diversity of performers and administrators 
  • involvement in outreach and education projects 
  • registered UK charity