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  • Writer's pictureContinuo Foundation


21 March 2023

Continuo Foundation Expands Support for UK Early Music with Further Project Grants and the Launch of Continuo Connect

Continuo Foundation scales up its support to the UK Early Music sector by announcing a further £100,000 in project grants, bringing the total invested by Continuo since its inception in September 2020 to £560,000. The Foundation also launches a new digital hub, Continuo Connect, designed to open access to period-instrument music for audiences across the UK. This platform will also provide digital resources for musicians - and amplify the impact of Continuo's grants.

Continuo Connect currently features more than 90 upcoming events, listed by the 87 ensembles signed up to the site so far. The comprehensive event listing, searchable by location, informs users about concerts in both well-known and also smaller local community venues often overlooked due to a lack of publicity. Continuo will market Connect on behalf of all the ensembles on the platform, aiming to attract larger and more diverse audiences.

“We are thrilled with the feedback from early users. Ensembles and audiences have been very reliant on word of mouth and printed flyers – the Connect site changes that and is by far the most comprehensive place to find out what’s happening in UK early music. The hub aims to more than double audiences within a year." – Ben Vanderspar, Trustee, and Partner, McKinsey & Co.

The latest grant awards will support over 80 performances and recordings in more than 50 locations over the next six months. Of the 27 ensembles whose projects have been awarded a grant, there are 12 groups that have not previously received Continuo grants, and eight recently formed ensembles, double the number anticipated. This reflects the Foundation’s stated priorities: extending support as widely as possible (our grantee community now includes 77 ensembles), and helping recently formed ensembles and their musicians to establish and promote themselves.

One of the recently formed groups, also new to Continuo grants, is Divertissements Chinois. The ensemble will present and tour a programme exploring the fascinating musical links between China and Western Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries.

New grantee Queen Victoria’s Consort take North-East England audiences into the sound world of the industrial revolution. ‘Brass Roots’ will premiere The Kershaw Collection of historic brass instruments through concerts, lectures and workshops with selected emerging professionals from local brass bands joining performances at museums and other area venues.

Edinburgh-based baroque ensemble Dunedin Consort team up with HERA and Mahogany Opera for the first ever staged UK performances of Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre’s ‘Cantatas Bibliques’. These operas in miniature tell the stories of Susanne, Rachel and Judith.

Once again, we have been overwhelmed by the quality and variety of the projects proposed. It is a joy to enable this talent and creativity to be shared with thousands of people in communities all over the country, brought together through the experience of live music.– Tina Vadaneaux, Continuo Founder & CEO

Full details of the 27 projects supported by Continuo's Round 5 grants is available HERE.


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