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  • Writer's pictureContinuo Foundation





In May, five of our grantee ensembles presented twelve concerts in nine different UK locations: Isle of Wight, Liverpool, Bristol, Cambridge, Ilminster, Bridport, Crewkerne, Faversham and London.

In addition, The Brook Street Band and David de Winter launched their new Continuo-supported recording - Schütz - A German in Venice - with a very well-attended concert in Hampstead.

We were touched to receive a lovely message from Penelope Rapson, director of Fiori Musicali, in response to the news that 7 May 2024 marked the third anniversary of our charity registration:


Many congratulations to you all on your third anniversary! Continuo Foundation is an amazing organisation and so much appreciated by musicians in the early music world. Your enthusiasm and energy (and your vital funding after the challenges of the last few years) have enabled period instrument music-making not only to survive (thank goodness!) but to blossom and flourish. Viva Continuo Foundation!! Continuo Foundation's impact since inception:

£750,000 awarded to 94 ensembles

1,015 freelance musician beneficiaries

106,500 live and online audience members

 20 CD recordings released so far



As we prepare to launch the next round of grants in early July, we are looking forward to the flood of creative project proposals which will take music to audiences around the country. Our heartfelt thanks go out to all who make this possible through your generosity.


We are grateful for the wonderful donations received in May. These have reduced the funding gap to reach our £100,000 target for Grant Round 8 to £14,350.


We are also working toward our goal of securing commitments to fund Continuo's activity over the next three years. Advance commitments enable us to plan more effectively and to focus more of our time on activities that directly support musicians and accelerate growth.


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.



 In May, Continuo Connect attracted new users of all types: audiences, artists and festivals. In addition to over 200 events, we now have 45 Festivals and Concert Series across the UK with profiles on the site. This directory is a great source of ideas for summer travel with an early music focus. We have had wonderful feedback from the festivals and concert series using Continuo Connect to boost their visibility and to publicise their early music concerts to the thousands of audience users coming to the site for inspiration.


 A key objective of the site is to increase concert-going by connecting musicians with wider and more diverse audiences. A recurring theme of the feedback from audiences, even those on the lookout for early music, is how stunned they are at the sheer volume, variety and geographical spread of the performances on our What's On listing. It is so rewarding to uncover hidden gems and showcase this talent.

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



Bulgarian violist Elitsa Bogdanova is a member of the award-winning Consone Quartet, former BBC New Generation Artists. The quartet just finished recording volume two of their Mendelssohn quartets cycle for Linn Records and will be performing at the English Haydn Festival, York Early Music Festival and other summer series. Elitsa is principal viola of La Serenissima and has guest-led the viola sections of ensembles including Academy of Ancient Music, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and Florilegium. Outside the quartet, Eli is particularly looking forward to doing two short recitals with pianist Ashok Gupta at the Cheltenham Festival, and to playing Beethoven's 9th Symphony from memory with Aurora Orchestra at the BBC Proms this summer.

How has Continuo impacted your day-to-day life? Continuo Foundation gave our quartet support and purpose through the pandemic, which was so important to us at such a challenging time. The foundation has also made us feel part of a dynamic community of like-minded musicians whose voices matter, and it has inspired us to keep dreaming up new creative ideas. What do you love about being a musician? I love interacting with other people, both verbally and instrumentally. I am fascinated by the psychology behind all the ways in which we can influence each other with sounds, words, body language, etc.

Where did you encounter the most receptive audience? For me the most receptive audiences happen to be at small, cozy venues where people sit close to us. Being able to influence their emotions and feel the way they react to our music making is something really special and, as we all discovered during the pandemic, it can't be replaced.

What new doors have opened for you since becoming a grantee?

Launching our Barnstorming! project and obtaining high-quality video material with the Foundation's help has allowed us to reach new audiences and to hear about more barns, in order to continue expanding our series in the coming years. Continuo’s support with our Gavin Bryars project* allowed us to dive into new territory with our first commission of new music, something we plan to do more in the coming months.


*Consone Quartet premiered a new work for string sextet by Gavin Bryars - 'The Bridges of Königsberg' - which was toured and broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in October 2023.

No.1 listening recommendation? I recently got to hear a live performance of Thomas Ades’ Alchymia which is a clarinet quintet inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest and music by William Byrd, John Dowland and Alban Berg. The piece is scored for basset clarinet and I can't help wondering what it would sound like on gut strings.




Academy of Ancient Music - Sons of England

In collaboration with American countertenor Reginald Mobley, the Academy of Ancient Music presented a programme that explored the alternative histories of the English baroque: London-based Purcell, German immigrant Handel, and Ignatius Sancho, born into slavery, and later finding his freedom and musical success. Labeled in their programme as "English by Birth, Choice, and Circumstance," these three very different lives and experiences were brought together into one concert. This is also notably a premiere of a piece written by Roderick Williams that was co-commissioned by Mobley and AAM entitled From Ignatius Sancho. Below is a short clip from one of the rehearsals. You can read more about this project in the article 'Sons of England.'


Palisander - Double, Double, Toil & Trouble

Known as 'Early Music's very own Spice Girls,' recorder consort Palisander opened the Fairest Isle Festival with a sold-out concert of bewitching music. Featuring compositions by J.S. Bach and Hildegard von Bingen, renaissance consort music and the ensemble's own arrangements of contemporary works, the programme highlighted the close-knit relationship between music and magic. This was the first in the group's four-concert tour and precedes an upcoming album launch! You can still catch this intriguing concert at the Ely Arts Festival, the Banbury Early Music Festival, and at Ullet Road Church Hall in Liverpool.


Pocket Sinfonia - The Symphony Reimagined

Pocket Sinfonia brought us the fireworks of orchestral music, presenting three concerts in Somerset and Dorset as part of the Concerts in the West series. Drawing inspiration from the arrangements by Hummel and Clementi of works by Beethoven, Haydn and Mozart, the ensemble performed their own arrangement of Fanny Mendelssohn's Overture in C alongside historical transcriptions including M. Clementi's arrangement of Mozart's Jupiter Symphony and C.P.E Bach's Flute Quartet in A minor.


Sakuntala Trio - The Complete String Trios

The Sakuntala Trio released their debut album, recorded as a lockdown project, in 2023. However, the album was only launched in May, with a three-concert tour supported by our grant. Franz Schubert: the Complete String Trios & Henry Purcell: Three-Part Fantasias includes the world premiere recording of Schubert’s String Trio in B-flat major, D.471, which was left unfinished and was completed by leading Schubertian scholar Professor Brian Newbould. The piece had never been performed live, and Prof. Newbould was very moved to hear his work come to life.




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