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  • Writer's pictureContinuo Foundation





March was a busy month with 14 live performances across 6 locations including York, Warwick, Oxford, Tonbridge, St Leonards-on-Sea and London. There were also two new recordings made, by the Illyria Consort and the Early Opera Company. The growing catalogue of recordings which have received support from Continuo Foundation expanded in March with two new album releases, from the Rautio Piano Trio and Florilegium. More details on these albums can be found below.


In other recording news, we were delighted to see the success of Benevoli: Missa tu es Petrus from I Fagiolini and The City Musick. Described as "musical magic" in a glowing Gramophone review, the disc was also selected as BBC Music Magazine's Recording of the Month with 5-star ratings.

We loved hearing the feedback from Sounds Historical's 11-concert tour of 'The Bird Fancyer's Delight' to Warwickshire, Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire.

"As we aim to be accessible and inclusive, it’s been a joy to perform to secondary school students, especially at a time when music in schools is dwindling. Playing to everyone has been an immense pleasure, but there’s something very special about 11-18 year old audiences – especially when they come up to us afterwards and ask ‘how do you start playing the theorbo?’ or ‘it’s my dream to go to conservatoire, how can I learn more about early music? Representation of period instruments in a live setting is often a totally new experience for young people - benefitting wellbeing, music education and who knows, perhaps inspiring the early musicians of the future?!'" - Heidi Fardell Continuo Foundation's impact since the first round of grants in 2021:

£750,000 awarded to 94 ensembles

990 freelance musician beneficiaries

41,000 live audience members

62,000 online audience members

 18 CD recordings released so far



Following our awards announcement in March, Grant Round 7 projects are already in motion! We continue to be impressed with the creativity and variety of these projects, and are thrilled to have added nine new ensembles to our community, now 94 ensembles of which 22 are emerging groups.


We are making good progress toward our goal of securing advance commitments for a majority of Continuo's funding needs in 2024 - 2026. In March, we were thrilled to have secured new multi-year commitments totalling £120,000 to be paid over the three-year period. We are very grateful for these generous multi-year pledges and a number of single donations received during the month.


The amount remaining to be raised to reach our £100,000 target for Grant Round 8 (July 2024) is £36,150. If you can help close this gap, or would like to make an advance commitment toward our work in 2024-2026, please let us know.


NB - if you make a donation from a CAF account, please let us know by email so that we can thank you, as CAF makes the transfers anonymously.


Please contact Tina Vadaneaux if you would like to learn more about Continuo's work and plans for the future - or if you have thoughts of others who might be interested in speaking with me.



March has been a month of growth and engagement. There were 116 new events listed on our What's On page, of which 44 are from projects supported by our most recent grant awards. This brings the total events listed on the site since last year to well over 1,000, of which only about one third are in London and the rest spread across the UK.

Our page for Festivals and Concert Series continues to expand, with 7 new profiles being created in March. One concert series organiser wrote: "I'm pleased to say that I have nearly completed fixing our next season of concerts and will be adding those to Continuo Connect shortly - what a great resource this is!"

Engagement has been growing, too. The most visited page on the site is our events page. As we have seen an increasing number of concerts selling out, we have added a feature to enable these to be marked with a bright red "Sold Out" flag to mark these successes!

Help amplify all the artists on Continuo Connect by encouraging friends and family to visit the site and join our newsletter for the latest features, playlists and concert recommendations!



with Seb Gillot

Meet Seb Gillot - harpsichordist, organist, and conductor. As well as being the founder of Continuo grantee Endelienta Baroque, he's in demand as a continuo player and early keyboard specialist. Endelienta Baroque recently joined forces with Recordare Choir for a concert of German 17th-century funeral and Passiontide music. Currently, Seb is leading HGO Antiqua in their upcoming production of Purcell’s Fairy Queen, running from 19 to 28 April at Jackson's Lane Theatre. More details here.

How has Continuo impacted your day-to-day life? I am thrilled to be directing HGOAntiqua, with players from Endelienta Baroque, for an upcoming run of Purcell’s Fairy Queen at Jackson’s Lane in Highgate, generously supported in Continuo Foundation's latest grant round. At the time of writing, we are halfway through production rehearsals, and it is so exciting to be working with director Eloise Lally and her brilliant team, alongside fabulous singers and instrumentalists, each of whom brings their individual musicality and experience to the ensemble piece. The show is coming together beautifully, and working in such detail on such gorgeous music is a rare and special treat!

Which doors have opened since receiving a Continuo Foundation grant?

It was wonderful to receive Continuo’s backing for our EarthSong project. We have since brought the project to the Thames Concerts series, and are developing and bringing new projects and programmes to some of the same venues which received EarthSong so enthusiastically. The feedback we received from audiences at our Continuo-funded concerts was delight at the imaginative curation of the programme, and this has given us confidence that there is a thirst for imaginative programming - so, thank you, Continuo!  What do you love about being a musician? No two days are the same - the challenges and wide range of skills I need to use make life ever-varied. 

Where did you encounter the most receptive audience? Down in St Endellion in Cornwall. As the venue for our first concert together, it is always wonderful to be back, and we were welcomed with open arms on our return in the Autumn. We had run one of our EarthSong workshops on the Saturday morning, and it was fantastic to see many of the young people who took part return in the evening for our concert. No.1 listening recommendation? I absolutely love the viol consort Phantasm’s recording of Purcell’s Fantasias. Everything about it is so beautifully crafted and nuanced! Their playing almost makes one hear Purcell’s skilled and inventive compositional mind at work.

More about Seb Gillot is available on his Continuo Connect Spotlight interview.




Figure - Our Mother

Figure presented four sold-out performances of an immersive, brilliantly-staged production of Pergolesi’s 'Stabat Mater' intertwined with new work commissioned from composer Alex Mills. This musical drama of maternal grief was sung by a multi-generational cast of five singers, including our Patron Dame Emma Kirkby, with an ensemble of seven instrumentalists.

The production earned 4-star reviews from The Observer, The Guardian and The Arts Desk.


Ensemble Molière - The King's Playlist

Ensemble Molière, former and first-ever BBC Radio 3 New Generation Baroque Ensemble, embarked on a concert tour to launch their debut album ‘The King’s Playlist.’ With performances in Tonbridge, Warwick and Clerkenwell, Ensemble Molière presented a captivating programme featuring compositions by Lully, Couperin, Charpentier, Delalande, and Marais, offering a musical journey through the day of King Louis XIV. The illustrator Gisela Gayleard, who collaborated with the ensemble to design the cover art of the album, was present at the London performance. The album is now available on Linn Records.


Rautio Piano Trio - Beethoven Cycle CD Launch Concerts

In 2021, the Rautio Piano Trio embarked on a project to record all of Beethoven’s Piano Trios on period instruments. To celebrate the release of the second volume in March, the group gave launch concerts at the Heath Street Baptist Church in London and at Christ's Church in St. Leonards-on-Sea. Both concerts were followed by a post-performance question and answer session with the audience where the musicians spoke about their instruments and the challenges and joys of this repertoire.


Early Opera Company - Jephtha

The Early Opera Company, conducted by Christian Curnyn and led by Catherine Martin, recorded Maurice Greene's rarely performed masterpiece 'Jephtha'. This magnificent work, by a composer at the height of his powers, had been performed only twice in modern times. The orchestra were joined by a stellar cast of soloists and an outstanding chorus for the recording and for a sold-out performance at Middle Temple Hall, a stone’s throw from where the work was premiered 300 years ago.




Florilegium - The Spohr Collection Volume 3

Florilegium continue their Spohr Collection project with the release of the third volume in the series, with support from Continuo Foundation. Ashley plays on nine original 18th century flutes from Peter Spohr’s private collection, made from various materials including solid ivory, ebony and ivory, and boxwood and ivory. This new recording explores repertoire from Italy, Germany and England, and each work matches historically and geographically with the flute Ashley plays. Soprano Rowan Pierce joins the ensemble for songs by Chilcot and Lampe. The album is available on Channel Classics.


Rautio Piano Trio - Beethoven Piano Trios Volume 2

On March 22nd, the Rautio Piano Trio released the second volume in their project to record the complete cycle of Beethoven piano trios on fortepiano. Their critically-acclaimed first volume received glowing reviews, including 5 stars in BBC Music Magazine.

The new CD features Beethoven Op.1/3, Op.11 and Op.44 and can now be purchased directly from the musicians here, where all sales proceeds will go towards recording the third volume in the series.

Have a listen to the trailer below to hear the opening of the Op.11 ‘Gassenhauer’ Trio.




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