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  • Writer's pictureContinuo Foundation


21 September 2021

““We are thrilled to have awarded more than £250,000 in grants during 2021. The impact has been terrific - providing a lifeline for musicians, and demonstrating our distinctive contribution to period performance in the UK.”

– Tina Vadaneaux, Founder of Continuo Foundation

Continuo Foundation, a charity created in 2020 to preserve and support a flourishing historical performance sector in the UK, announces the twenty-three recipients of its second round of grants. More than £100,000 will be awarded to period-instrument ensembles to support artistic projects engaging 488 performing artists, both instrumentalists and vocalists, over the next six months. Support is being extended to 14 new ensembles and 9 who also received a first round grant. Continuo received 60 applications in response to its July announcement of this grant round. All applications underwent a rigorous two-stage evaluation process beginning with a detailed assessment by Continuo’s expert Advisory Panel. Their recommendations, based on artistic excellence, were then reviewed by the Trustees who also considered applicants’ access to alternative funding sources and the need to support as many musicians as possible. The Trustees also sought to prioritise live performances and touring, particularly outside of London, and extension of its community of grantees. Continuo Trustee Hannah French comments: “We were delighted that some outstandingly creative projects were proposed by groups we had not supported yet. It is great to extend our grantee community to include a total of thirty-seven UK period-instrument ensembles.”

The projects being planned from now through March 2022 represent a fascinating range of repertoires and concert formats, as well as recordings and projects combining period-instrument ensembles with vocal consorts, choirs and even theatre. Performances will take place in a variety of venues across the country, and together with the projects from Continuo’s first round of grants, will make for a full year of creative activity engaging more than 800 freelance musicians. Examples of some of the projects include:

  • Chelys joins forces with Fieri Consort to tour a performance of Michael East’s music for viols and voices to Manchester, Lincoln and London

  • The Telling tours an innovative early music drama, ‘I, Spie’ imagining John Downland was a spy, engaging audiences in Cumbria, Wolverhampton, Hounslow, Liverpool and Haringey

  • The Early Opera Company records Handel’s opera ‘Amadigi di Gaula’ with outstanding soloists

Vadaneaux adds: “Our team has so many ideas for supporting the touring of excellent period chamber music to every region of the UK. Growing larger and more engaged audiences of all ages is central to our vision for a flourishing and sustainable period performance community. The 23 grant recipients are, Academy of Ancient Music, Amyas, Bach Club Soloists, The Brook Street Band, Chelys Consort of Viols, Concerto Caledonia, The Early Opera Company Ltd, The English Concert, Ensemble Augelletti, Ex Cathedra, Feinstein Ensemble, Florilegium, Fontanella, Fretwork, Gabrieli Consort & Players, Instruments of Time and Truth, Istante Collective, The Mozartists, Passacaglia Trio, Pocket Sinfonia, Rautio Piano Trio, Sounds Baroque and The Telling.



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