IN THIS UPDATE:
2. 2023 GRANTS: ROUNDS 5 AND 6
3. CONTINUO CONNECT
4. PLAYER SPOTLIGHT
5. FEBRUARY PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS
GRANTS IMPACT - FEEDBACK AND FIGURES
In February, our grants supported fifteen live concerts in fourteen different locations across the UK, from Cornwall to Norwich to Manchester. We also supported two recordings, including one of lesser-known music by Schütz, from the Brook Street Band and tenor David de Winter. We were delighted to receive this feedback from Spiritato about their tour of 'Inspiring Bach' in collaboration with The Marian Consort, enjoyed by over 600 audience members:
'Continuo Foundation has played a vital role in the success of Inspiring Bach, offering financial support when we needed it most, and appreciating the value of our work. Continuo support is hugely impactful, marking out our work as of considerable merit in our field, and helping us attract more patrons and interest from audiences and promoters.'
The impact of Continuo's grant-making activity since inception can be summarised by:
£413,200 disbursed to 60 different ensembles 807 individual freelance musician beneficiaries 21,203 live audience members 61,366 online audience members 9 CD recordings released so far
2023 GRANTS: ROUNDS 5 AND 6
Applications for Grant Round 5 were evaluated for their artistic merit by our expert Advisory Panel and are now being considered by the Trustees. Awards will be announced by 23rd March. Once again, the quality, variety and creativity of the projects proposed have been impressive.
We are also making progress towards the £100,000 target for Grant Round 6 in July 2023, helped by an increase in advance commitments from donors. This is a further and very welcome demonstration of confidence in the impact of the Foundation's work.
Taking into account these advance commitments, only a further £26,300 is required to close out Grant Round 6. Our objective for 2023 is to line up 75% of the funding required for our grants in 2024 and 2025. If you would like to support the next round or to make a commitment toward 2024 and 2025, please contact Tina Vadaneaux to discuss how you can make a difference.
Over the past month, our focus has been on developing the musician side of the new Continuo Connect digital hub. We are delighted to now have 87 Ensemble profiles, 92 Musician profiles, and over 90 Upcoming Events all across the UK.
We will continue to work on growing the Continuo Connect community, and as we approach the announcement of the Round 5 grant awards later in March, we will increasingly turn our attention to attracting audiences to engage with the site as well.
Ensembles are already seeing an increase in ticket bookings for events listed on the site, and we aim to grow this dramatically over the coming months, while improving the site.
We often receive requests for comprehensive and easy to search events listings, so we are thrilled to be making this available to those who seek out period-instrument performances as well as those who may be new to early music but are looking for quality entertainment which is local and affordable.
Please do have a look and, if you can, help us to spread the word about this new resource for musicians and audiences alike - visit www.continuoconnect.com.
PLAYER SPOTLIGHT - with Benedict Williams
Meet harpsichordist and keyboard-player Benedict Williams, founding director of the Cedar Consort and member of Ensemble Augelletti. The recently formed Cedar Consort toured their 'Telemann's Subscribers' programme, with recorder player Tabea Debus, to Warwick, Stapleford Granary and Stamford.
How has Continuo impacted you personally? Over the last few years I have seen the dramatic and positive impact of Continuo Foundation in our sector of the musical world. To be a beneficiary was a very important step in the development of the Cedar Consort. Without Continuo's backing, our tour of Telemann’s Subscribers would not have happened. Not only did we perform in three fantastic venues, but we also filmed one of the concerts to provide promotional material for the future. Which doors have opened since receiving our Grant? Being part of the Continuo family of grantees is a huge honour and critically a great
seal of approval. This endorsement has given us the confidence to approach new promoters, both in the UK and beyond. We believe this will allow us to develop the Cedar Consort musically and expand our profile much sooner than otherwise would have been possible. What do you love about your job / being a musician? It is a privilege to be a musician, to explore the amazing heritage of the baroque and classical worlds, and to find ways of sharing insights and the sounds of this art form. Making music is also about producing exciting performances for audiences of today and, hopefully, tomorrow. I also love travelling to new places and seeing the smiling faces in the audience! No. 1 listening recommendation? Bach & Handel - Sabine Davieilhe, Raphaël Pichon, Ensemble Pygmalion
Exquisite singing and playing, and one of my favourite Bach cantatas: Mein Herze
schwimmt im Blut, BWV 199 More about Benedict Williams is available on his musician profile on Continuo Connect.
Air à l'Italien from 'Telemann's Subscribers' recorded at St Mary's, Warwick by Tom Mungall.
FEBRUARY PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS
Musical and Amicable Society - The Art of Fugue
Playing in the round, the Musical & Amicable Society presented a selection of pieces from Bach’s The Art of Fugue transcribed for string quartet in Buckinghamshire, Bristol and Worcester. Their intimate performances combined Bach’s counterpoint with the poetry of Jan Zwicky for three delightful evenings of music and poetry. Please click below to see a video clip from a rehearsal.
Lux Musicae London – Secrets of Andalusia
Lux Musicae London spent four days recording their vibrant programme: Secrets of Andalusia with guest artists Ignacio Lusardi on Guitar and Oud, Konstantinos Glynos on Qanun and singer Victoria Couper. The recording will feature Flamenco, Sephardic songs, Arabic music and Spanish composers from the 15th-18th centuries. The album explores the origins of Flamenco, telling the story of the Iberian peninsula and its music.
The Gonzaga Band - Alla Milanese
The Gonzaga Band launched their new CD ‘Alla Milanese’ with a programme of new discoveries from early seventeenth-century Milan at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. On the previous day, the ensemble gave schools workshops and were thrilled to be able to share the sounds of seicento Milan with more than 600 enthusiastic children! Please click on the video below to see an excerpt from the launch concert. The Alla Milanese CD is available to purchase or stream HERE.