Continuo Foundation grants aim to address the needs of period-instrument ensembles of all sizes and to respond to prevailing circumstances in order to maximise impact.
The objective of the current round of grants is to restore confidence across the UK historical performance sector by supporting the economic viability of a range of artistically excellent projects that will create employment for freelance musicians. 
The Trustees will monitor the use of funds and provide ongoing advice and support to grantees, where required, to help ensure the success of supported projects.
Future rounds of grants will each have their own objectives and criteria, according to Continuo Foundation’s long-term mission, and the needs of ensembles at the time, as decided by the Trustees.


The application submission period for the current round closed on 23 February 2021.
Applicants were invited to request amounts ranging from £1,000 to £10,000 to mobilise projects that are scheduled to take place in the UK before the end of September 2021.
The primary goal of these grants is to enable ensembles to proceed with artistic projects, and to engage musicians, despite the uncertainty around restrictions due to Covid-19. Grants will provide funding to secure performance activity for musicians.
For example, grant proceeds could be used:
  • 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 fund the research and recording of new repertoire
  • to help fund a recording project
The Trustees will make the final decision as to which proposals are most meritorious and will allocate the available funds accordingly. Continuo Foundation expects to award grants to 15-20 ensembles. The final number will depend upon the quality of the individual applications received and the respective amounts requested. 


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.
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. The key criteria for assessing applications in this round of grants are:
  • the artistic merit and originality of the proposed project; and
  • the number of instrumentalists engaged and the proportion of the grant funds dedicated to artists’ fees.
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 2017
  • critically acclaimed recordings (including CDs, broadcasts, videos, etc.) since 2017 
  • 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 
For grant requests of less than £5,000, the grant may cover up to 100% of the project cost. For requests of £5,000 or more, grants are likely to be an incremental source of funding for a larger project, and thus are unlikely to represent 100% of the project cost. In this case, applicants would need to provide evidence of the availability of the complementary funding.
The application submission deadline is now passed.
If you are a professional UK-based period-instrument ensemble of at least three period instrumentalists, and have an artistic project you would like to carry out in the UK before the end of September 2021, we would welcome an application from you.
  • Ensembles should complete the Grant Application Form below and submit online.
  • We strongly suggest you use the Guidance Notes to complete the application. 
  • No applications from individual musicians or promoters will be considered.
  • The Trustees will not enter into pre-application consultations.
  • Submission deadline: 5pm, 23 February 2021
  • Grant decisions expected by 23 March 2021



Please download and complete the Grant Application Form. When you are ready, please fill in your contact details below and submit your completed form using the Upload button.
We strongly suggest you read the Guidance Notes to assist with completing the application.

To apply, please take the time to fill out the information below.

Upload completed Grant Application Form