CONTINUO OPENS GRANT ROUND SIX
11 July 2023
Continuo Foundation has opened a new round of grants amounting to £100,000. This will bring the aggregate support provided to UK period instrument ensembles since 2021 to £660,000. The funds have been raised from private individuals, and trusts and foundations, wishing to support the UK’s world-renowned early music sector, a vital part of the creative industries for over 60 years.
UK ensembles are invited to submit proposals for creative projects scheduled to take place between October 2023 and March 2024. Continuo’s grants offer the opportunity to undertake artistically ambitious projects that would not be feasible without this support. Continuo grants also encourage musicians to tour programmes to communities that lack access to live classical music.
The latest round of grants will once again offer a separate eligibility category for ensembles formed between June 2020 and June 2023. So far, thirteen emerging groups have received grants for projects which they have used to further their careers. For example, Ensemble Augelletti, who received funding to record their debut CD in 2021, were recently selected as the BBC Radio 3 New Generation Baroque Ensemble.
The ensemble’s founder, Olwen Foulkes, commented:
“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 impact for us."
Continuo aims to offer holistic support to its beneficiaries. In addition to providing funding, it helps to raise the profiles of grantee ensembles and to promote their events to a wider audience via Continuo’s online presence. This has been scaled up with the recent launch of Continuo Connect, a digital hub for the UK early music sector. This hub was created in response to the needs of audiences and musicians which were identified in the course of more than two years of grant making.
Continuo Connect is an online platform connecting music lovers with musicians, designed to help the whole early music ecosystem to flourish. Over 100 UK ensembles have created a public profile and are now able to list their upcoming concerts in a centralised online location. These aggregated event listings can be searched geographically, making it easy for audiences to find high quality live music near home, in venues large and small, anywhere in the UK.
Continuo Founder and CEO Tina Vadaneaux explains:
“Early music concerts are relaxed, affordable and high quality. Smaller-scale local venues enable concertgoers to connect with the musicians and with others in their local community. The most frequently reported audience feedback comment is ‘Please come back!’"
Applications are invited from both emerging and established professional UK-based ensembles with at least three instrumentalists. Grant amounts range from £2,000 to £8,000 per project. The submission deadline is 10 August 2023. Decisions are expected in September, following evaluation guided by Continuo’s Advisory Panel of sector experts.