IN THIS UPDATE:
GRANT ROUND 5 - TARGET NEARLY REACHED
We are very grateful for the generous response in November to our fundraising campaign for the two grant rounds in 2023, including advance commitments which are extremely helpful for our forward planning and effectiveness. With £80,680 raised toward our £100,000 Round 5 launch target, we are working hard to secure the remaining £19,320 needed to open the call for applications on 10th January, as planned. The demand for funding from musicians is stronger than ever. As always, 100% of your donation goes to enabling musicians to bring inspiring music to more people across the UK. If you are able to help us reach our Round 5 target, please visit the Support Us page of our website for details. Alternatively, please contact Tina Vadaneaux to discuss how you can make a difference.
GRANTS IMPACT - FEEDBACK AND FIGURES
In November, our grants supported 7 live concerts in Devon, Shropshire and London, including concerts from recently-formed ensembles Noxwode Baroque and Figure. Recorder quartet Fontanella released the second in their series of beautifully-filmed videos, available to watch here. La Serenissima also released their latest CD recording, Forza Azzurri! (more on this below).
Noxwode Baroque toured their programme ‘Lies & Morals’ to Northumberland, Shrewsbury and Shropshire, and made videos to be used to promote the young ensemble and secure future tours. Violinist Conor Gricmanis commented:
'We’ve had such joy discovering some wonderfully obscure and stunning repertoire and found it really touching to be able to take it to more rural parts of the UK. In fact, our last concert sold out!'
The impact of Continuo's grant-making activity since inception, summarised in figures:
£364,400 disbursed to 53 different ensembles
650 individual freelance musicians benefited
18,476 live audiences participated
61,341 online audiences participated
8 CD recordings released so far
CONTINUO CONNECT DIGITAL HUB
We are very excited to report that the Continuo Connect hub is now being tested by ensemble users! Dean has been incorporating valuable feedback from musicians into the design and features of the hub. The next phase, once a sufficient number of ensembles and musicians have created profiles and listed concerts, will involve testing with audience users.
Continuo Connect aims to leverage technology to transform audience development, enable live performances in more communities across the UK and create a financially sustainable future for musicians.
In addition to providing digital marketing tools for ensembles and musicians, Continuo Connect will serve as the portal for grant applications, streamlining the process for applicants and our team of assessors. We aim to have the hub ready by 10th January to coincide with the launch of Grant Round 5.
Funds raised for the Connect project are maintained completely separately from our grant funds. We are seeking donors and sponsors to help us grow and develop the Connect hub post-January. If you are interested, or have ideas of potential sponsors, please contact Tina Vadaneaux.
NOVEMBER PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS
Figure Ensemble – ‘Reflection and Remembrance’
Recently-formed ensemble Figure gave an outstanding performance to an audience of more than 300 people of all ages in the atmospheric Union Chapel in Islington. Their original rendering of requiems by Charpentier and Fauré, works composed two centuries apart, was interspersed with poetry readings by BBC Radio 3 presenter Donald Macleod. The performance, referred to as 'a secular feast for the senses,' earned 5* reviews and the observation that 'Figure’s aims of producing historically-informed and wholly-accessible classical music are achieved.' The film of the concert will be available soon. Photo: Musicarta
Noxwode Baroque – 'Lies & Morals'
After performances in Northumberland and Shrewsbury, another of our recently-formed ensembles, Noxwode Baroque, gave the final concert in their ‘Lies & Morals’ tour to a full house at Bishop’s Castle Town Hall in Shropshire. The programme featured 17th and 18th century music inspired by Barbara Strozzi’s 'Mentita' on the theme of false love. Noxwode hope to tour this programme to new locations in future.
Ceruleo – ‘Love Restor'd'
Ceruleo gave three concerts, in London and Devon, ahead of the release of their debut CD ‘Love Restor’d’ with music from restoration-era England. With two singers and three instrumentalists, ‘Love Restor’d’ is a programme that runs the gamut of restoration English music, encompassing some of Henry Purcell’s most famous pieces alongside his lesser-known works and those by John Blow and John Eccles. This programme will continue touring to more UK locations in the new year. The album is out now and available to purchase here.
La Serenissima – 'Forza Azzurri!’
In November, La Serenissima released their latest album, Forza Azzurri! Featuring recorder player Tabea Debus, the album includes lesser-known instrumental music by Italian composers Zavateri, Dall’Abaco, Sammartini, Vivaldi and the world premiere recording of Brescianello’s Overture-Suite for strings and continuo in D. BBC Radio 3 Record Review praised the album's 'poised and vibrant performances' and the disc entered the UK Specialist Classical Chart last week. Please click on the video below to watch an excerpt from one of the recording sessions. The CD is available to purchase or stream here.