IN THIS UPDATE:
2. GRANT ROUND 6 LAUNCHING SOON!
3. CONTINUO CONNECT - GROWTH CONTINUES
4. SPOTIFY PLAYLIST FOR JULY
GRANTS IMPACT - FEEDBACK AND FIGURES
In June, our grants supported 13 live concerts in 11 locations across the country, and a large-scale collaborative recording project by The City Musick and I Fagiolini. This world premiere recording of a mass by Orazio Benevoli will be released in November 2023 on the Coro label.
There was exciting news last week as one of our first grantees, Ensemble Augelletti, was selected as BBC Radio 3's New Generation Baroque Ensemble (2023-2025). Catch up on the news here. 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 opportunities that it's enabled for us." We would also like to share some wonderful feedback from viola da gamba player Sarah Small, of recently formed ensemble Hex, following completion of their recent Grant Round 5 project:
"Without your support, this project wouldn’t have taken off for a long while and I wouldn’t have found this renewed drive and need to play and share this music. The project has been so transformative and fulfilling (and quite overwhelming at times), and I am brimming with ideas for future projects and collaborations as a result." Continuo Foundation's impact since the first round of grants in 2021:
£560,000 awarded to 77 different ensembles 885 individual freelance musician beneficiaries 25,527 live audience members 61,648 online audience members 10 CD recordings released so far
GRANT ROUND 6 LAUNCHING SOON!
Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we are thrilled to be fast approaching the £100,000 target for launching Grant Round 6 next week. If you've been meaning to donate, now is the perfect time.
Judging from the level of correspondence received recently from period-instrument ensembles, the next round of project grants is eagerly anticipated and much needed.
Please keep an eye out for our press release next week, and contact Tina Vadaneaux to discuss how our work is making a difference for musicians, music-lovers and communities across the country.
CONTINUO CONNECT GAINS MOMENTUM
Continuo Connect continues to grow and flourish. More events and musicians were added to the site in June, and our audience users grew 100% in June, to 2,000 unique users. Visitors spent an average of 4 minutes browsing the site, and clicked on 36k items (compared to 26k items clicked in May).
Please help us keep this growth going by letting people know about this resource for finding fantastic nearby concerts, anywhere in the UK. Word of mouth is a powerful tool, so encouraging friends and family to visit the site benefits everyone!
SPOTIFY PLAYLIST FOR JULY
We hope you are enjoying our curated Spotify playlists with highlights from ensembles with upcoming events listed on Continuo Connect. These extracts from recordings made by our grantees and other period-instrument ensembles offer a taste of the music which will be available to enjoy live over the coming weeks. Please click below to listen to Kirsten's selections for July.
PLAYER SPOTLIGHT - with Katherine Spencer
Meet Katherine Spencer, principal clarinettist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the City of London Sinfonia. Katharine is one of three musicians forming The Vauxhall Band Bassett Horn Trio, one of our recently formed ensembles.This summer, the trio tour a very special programme to Lewes, Edinburgh and London. Find out more about this fascinating instrument below.
How has Continuo impacted you personally?
The Vauxhall Band gave birth to a rather unusual offshoot ensemble in the form of a Bassett Horn Trio back in 2022. This configuration of instruments was a thing in London back in the 18th century and surprisingly has a wealth of very entertaining repertoire. The Bassett horn was a firm favourite of Mozart for its rather unearthly quality of sound and ghostly nobility, and has inspired composers all over Europe to write dances and divertimenti. We knew audiences would love our programme but venues are reluctant to commit to an unknown trio. Having the financial backing and prestige of a Continuo grant made all the difference.
Which doors have opened since receiving our Grant?
Venues are now snapping us up and they will be offering their audiences a truly unique musical experience.
What do you love about your job / being a musician?
The best bit of my job is opening a new musical door for audiences. Many people won’t have heard a Bassett horn or Chalumeaux before and you literally see the effect of these sounds on them. It usually follows the path of “wow, what’s that? I love it ! It’s sooo beautiful and unique. Why have I not filled my life with this sound before? I need more!" Quite an array of facial expressions across one audience.
Where did you encounter the most receptive audience?
I’m often asked where I have encountered my most receptive audience and to be honest it’s universally whenever I play with this trio of instruments. People can’t help but be intrigued.
No.1 listening recommendation?
So my listening tip to you today might be to check out the moment in The Magic Flute 'March of the Priests' where a pair of Bassett horns blend with the flutes to add a layer of mystery and Masonic intrigue.
More about Katherine Spencer is available on his musician profile on Continuo Connect.
JUNE PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS
Parnassus - Divine & Human
The recently formed ensemble, Parnassus, gave their launch concert at the Sands End Arts & Community Centre in Fulham. Performing music of the German Baroque period, the ensemble and soprano Lauren Lodge-Campbell debuted their 'Divine & Human' programme. The filmed concert will provide material for promoting the programme for future performances.
London Early Opera - Hogarth's Garden
London Early Opera, with Bridget Cunningham directing from the harpsichord, presented an evening of baroque music with a slideshow by BBC Georgian historian Lars Tharp. 'Performed in Hogarth's local church in Chiswick, the 'Hogarth's Garden' programme celebrated the art, vision and inspiration of William Hogarth and other leading figures of the day, primarily Handel. This new project, based around research into Handel's extensive art collection, was filmed for later release.
Hex - Festival of the Sun King
Recently formed ensemble Hex gave three live performances of French baroque music at Sands Films Theatre as part of a festival pairing concerts with screenings of iconic films set in the French baroque period. It's not too late to enjoy the Festival of the Sun King - all three films and the corresponding concerts remain available to stream from Sands Films. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy this short excerpt from Marin Marais 'Feste Champêtre' - please click below to watch.