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  • Writer's pictureContinuo Foundation


13 July 2021


“We are thrilled to have reached our launch target of £100k, and the more we can raise by September, the more grants we can make and the more musicians we can help.”

– Tina Vadaneaux, Founder of Continuo Foundation

Despite the return of some live concerts, musicians continue to face cancellations and uncertainty. To help period-instrument ensembles to continue planning and performing, Continuo Foundation is now inviting applications for a second round of grants. As of today, £100,000 is available for grants to projects scheduled from October 2021 to March 2022. However, this amount will be increased by any additional donations received before 1st September 2021, with 100% going to grants.

This new round follows the initial £150,000 in grants awarded in March 2021 to 23 ensembles, creating 377 paid engagements for freelance musicians. The first round highlighted the number of excellent ensembles struggling in lockdown, and the great need for support. Since April 2021, four new recordings, one opera world premiere and numerous concerts - filmed for streaming and with live audiences - have taken place. The vibrant calendar of current grantee events continues until October.

Spiritato, an ensemble selected in the first round, describes the impact of their grant:

Funding from Continuo early on in our project has made such a difference to the success of our grant applications to other organisations. We are incredibly grateful to the foundation for being the catalyst for what is going to be a landmark project.’

Continuo’s commitment to emerging talent also gathers pace this summer with the ‘Continuo Foundation Award for Students of Historical Performance’ in association with Music at the Tower. Ten final-year students from London conservatoires will be selected, and paid by Continuo, to play alongside leading period-instrument professionals at the Bach for Good festival in August 2021.

Six months on from launching its first grant round, Continuo was featured in a June article in The Economist which highlights what is at stake:

'Over the past half-century, thanks to the achievements of pioneers such as Dame Emma Kirkby… and Sir Roger Norrington... (both patrons of Continuo), period performance has grown into one of the glories of British music.'

Continuo’s long-term mission is to nurture this ecosystem of ensembles, musicians, venues, festivals and audiences so that it may continue to grow and to flourish. Vadaneaux explains:

"Continuo aims to transform the UK’s classical music landscape by supporting live concerts and other events across the country, engaging new audiences and helping to develop a UK touring network that will allow ensembles to become more financially sustainable. This virtuous circle will also create opportunities for the next generation of artists."

Grants from Continuo are open to professional UK-based period-instrument ensembles. Applications open today with a submission deadline of 9 August 2021. Grant decisions are expected by 21 September. Full details on how to apply are available on the website:


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