IN THIS UPDATE:
4. SPOTIFY PLAYLIST FOR JUNE
GRANTS IMPACT - FEEDBACK AND FIGURES
In May, our grants supported 18 live concerts in eight locations across the country, including a critically-acclaimed production of Handel's 'Agrippina' at Jackson's Lane Theatre (see more in Project Highlights below). We were delighted to receive feedback from Fiori Musicali, who invited young musicians from the Royal Northern College of Music to participate in a brass workshop and performance alongside His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts in April. Fiori's artistic director, Penelope Rapson, commented: "The young musicians were brilliant and added another dimension to the performance. It’s heartening to know there is another generation of period-instrument players in the wings." Baroque in the North also received wonderful feedback from their concerts in the rural villages of Baslow and Charlesworth. Among the many expressions of appreciation from audience members was this quote: "I had no idea I had so many friends in the village – we don’t get many chances to come together all at once like this." Continuo Foundation's impact since the first round of grants in 2021:
£560,000 awarded to 77 different ensembles 852 individual freelance musician beneficiaries 24,758 live audience members 61,414 online audience members 9 CD recordings released so far
GRANT ROUND 6 - JULY 2023
Our current focus is on reaching the £100,000 target for launching Grant Round 6 on 11 July 2023. We have raised £85,700 so far, with an immediate funding gap of £14,300 to close out the round.
Once this has been secured, we will begin planning for the next phase of grant making in 2024 and 2025. Our objective is to secure at least 75% of the funds for what will become Grant Rounds 7-10 by the end of this year. Advance commitments enable the team to focus on leveraging Continuo Connect to scale up our impact and accelerate growth, to benefit musicians and audiences alike.
In the current difficult environment for arts funding, Continuo's project grants have provided hope and inspiration to hundreds of freelance musicians. Our grants have enabled them to take risks artistically, and to bring music to locations without access to live period music. If you are able to help us keep this going and growing, please contact Tina Vadaneaux to discuss how you can make a difference.
CONTINUO CONNECT GAINS MOMENTUM
Continuo Connect has been flourishing under the guidance of our new Product Manager, Lola Olaore. She has assembled a great team of volunteers with digital skills including UI design, UX research, data analytics and SEO. The Connect user community also continues to grow, attracting over 26,000 clicks from ca. 1,000 unique users during the month of May. We also passed the 100-Ensemble mark! So far in 2023, there have been 346 concerts listed on the site, with over 50 new events added in May, including many performances from Grant Round 5 projects. The map illustrates the geographical spread of the 130+ events currently listed on the events page. Please do take a few minutes to browse this online resource for all things early music. It's free and easy to use. Please spread the word!
SPOTIFY PLAYLIST FOR JUNE
We are delighted that Kirsten Fehring, from our Connect marketing team, will be curating a monthly Spotify playlist with highlights from upcoming events listed on Continuo Connect during the month. These extracts from recordings made by our grantees and other period-instrument ensembles will give a taste of the musical delights available to enjoy live over the coming weeks. Please click below to listen to Kirsten's selections for June.
PLAYER SPOTLIGHT - with Harry Buckoke
Meet viola da gamba and lirone player Harry Buckoke, who has been active in a number of Continuo grantee projects. Apollo's Cabinet will tour his musical mystery play 'Who killed Jean-Marie Leclair' to Cornwall in September. Harry is also a member of Lux Musicae and the recently founded HEX ensemble who are currently running the Festival of the Sun King at Sands Film Studios - a must see!
How has Continuo impacted you personally?
Continuo support has enabled the realisation of projects I had always hoped to do but never thought possible. For projects I've been involved with, Continuo grants have made it possible either to bring early music somewhere new or to bring something new to early music.
Which doors have opened since receiving our Grant?
Funds have quite literally opened the doors of venues that have not hosted early music in the past. Apollo's Cabinet were able to bring our murder mystery show to theatres in London, Hastings and Eastbourne. Continuo has also enabled collaborations that would not have been viable without support. Lux Musicae London were able to bring specialist artists Ignacio Lusardi, Victoria Couper and Konstantinos Glynos into our recording sessions exploring the origins of Flamenco in February. Hex Ensemble have been able to pair concert programmes of French baroque music with iconic movie screenings at Sands Films.
What do you love about your job / being a musician?
I love the variety involved in a musician's life and all the bizarre and wonderful places we end up in the world.
Where did you encounter the most receptive audience?
The most acoustically responsive audience might have been a swarm of bees that arrived just outside the room I was practising in last week!
No.1 listening recommendation?
I have been thinking a lot about transcriptions and intabulations recently. Salomé Gasselin's album Récit has some really inspiring examples for viola da gamba and organ.
MAY PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS
Flauguissimo - To the Northern Star
Flauguissimo, comprising flautist Yu-Wei Hu, soprano Emily Atkinson, violinist Magdalena Loth-Hill, viola da gamba player Henrik Persson and theorbo player Johan Löfving, gave a concert launching their album 'To the Northern Star' to an appreciative audience at the Swedish Church in London. This album shines a light on Swedish baroque composer Johan Helmich Roman. The next concert in the tour will be at Otley Baroque on 18th of June at 3pm. The CD is available here.
Passamezzo - The King's Delight
Passamezzo presented an evening of music, words and song from Restoration Britain at St John's Wood Church. An incredible amount of research was showcased in the programme of ballads about the Plague, the Great Fire, the Frost Fair, horse racing, chocolate and coffee. Theatre songs, tavern rounds and divisions and solos for violin, viol and cittern by Jenkins, Bannister, Simpson, Locke, Purcell, and Playford were interspersed with lyrics from Pepys, Evelyn, Shakespeare and Aphra Behn. The tour continues in September, details here.
The Telling - Into the Melting Pot & The Telling Unchained
The Telling have had an action-packed month of May touring 'Into the Melting Pot' to six venues across the country. They also tried out a new programme of jam sessions - 'The Telling Unchained' - in Manningtree and Folkestone. Ahead of the performances they had great media coverage with Clare Norburn featured on BBC Sussex (listen back here scroll to 02:53:50) and on BBC Kent (listen back here from 00:25:10).
HGOAntiqua - Agrippina
HGOAntiqua orchestra gave eight stellar performances of Handel's 'Agrippina', working alongside two different casts of talented young opera singers. Billed as ‘the coronation that goes wrong’ the production at Jackson's Lane Theatre drew enthusiastic audiences and praise from Opera Today for the "brisk and lively playing from the HGOAntiqua Orchestra conducted by Thomas Payne.”