CELEBRATING TWO YEARS!
IN THIS UPDATE:
CELEBRATING OUR FIRST TWO YEARS!
Continuo Foundation started in September 2020 as a lockdown project, in response to the devastating impact of Covid cancellations and the risk posed to the survival of the UK's world-leading period-instrument music ecosystem, and to the livelihoods of the freelance musicians that are its bedrock.
The Foundation's activities over the past two years have nurtured the talent, vibrancy and variety within the early music sector. Feedback from ensembles and musicians repeatedly confirms that our support has engendered renewed hope and positivity.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have supported Continuo Foundation in myriad ways: our generous donors, our Advisory Panel members and Trustees, and the dedicated and talented musicians who have inspired us with their creativity.
Looking ahead to the future, there is so much more we can do to help musicians become more financially sustainable and to develop new and larger audiences across the country, ensuring the UK early music scene continues to flourish.
Since our first round of grant awards, announced in March 2021, we have supported projects of the following 65 UK ensembles, our growing Continuo Foundation grantee community: Academy of Ancient Music, Amyas, Apollo's Cabinet, Bach Club Soloists, Baroque in the North, Boxwood & Brass, Brecon Baroque, Brook Street Band, Cedar Consort, Ceruleo, Chelys Consort of Viols, Concerto Caledonia, Consone Quartet, Dunedin Consort, Early Opera Company, Ensemble Augelletti, Ensemble Hesperi, Ensemble Marsyas, Ensemble Molière, Ex Cathedra, Feinstein Ensemble, Figure Ensemble, Fiori Musicali, Florilegium, Fontanella, Fretwork, Gabrieli Consort & Players, Galliarda, Gonzaga Band, Harmonious Society of Tickle-Fiddle Gentlemen, His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts, Illyria Consort, Instruments of Time & Truth, Irlandiani Players, Istante Collective, Joglaresa, La Nuova Musica, La Serenissima, Laudonia, Linarol Consort of Viols, London Handel Orchestra, Lux Musicae, Manchester Baroque, Monteverdi String Band, The Mozartists, Musical & Amicable Society, Noxwode, Palisander, Passacaglia Trio, Pocket Sinfonia, Prince Regent's Band, Rautio Piano Trio, Rose Consort of Viols, Royal Baroque, Sackbut Frenzy, Saraband, Sirinu, Solomon's Knot, Sounds Baroque, Spinacino Consort, Spiritato, The English Concert, The Telling, The Vauxhall Band and the Yorkshire Baroque Soloists.
GRANTS - HIGHLIGHTS AND IMPACT
In September, our grants supported 13 live concerts in 13 different locations across the UK, three of which were filmed for later streaming. Online audiences were also able to access three new episodes from Ensemble Augelletti’s ‘Pick a Card’ series.
The Early Opera Company released their recording of Handel’s Amadigi di Gaula on Chandos Records, available here. Please scroll down to September Project Highlights section to hear an extract from this acclaimed CD.
Baroque in the North toured ‘Baroque & Beyond’ to six rural villages in the Peak District. Family-friendly concerts followed by tea and cake where the audience could chat with each other and speak to the musicians proved a winning formula. From their post-project report:
"We were quite overcome on each occasion by the extent to which our audiences enjoyed the event. We had a variety of ages, including children, at each event. We were welcomed in each venue by members of the community who thanked us for coming to their village.... The impact of Continuo Foundation’s grant for Baroque In The North has been two-fold. It has enabled us to capitalise on a successful Baroque & Beyond pilot, thus providing a valuable income for the performers and also contributing to the strategic growth of the organisation, which was delayed by the pandemic."
The impact of Continuo Foundation's activity so far, summarised in figures:
£336,400 disbursed to 49 different ensembles 1,628 musician engagements since April 2021
617 individual freelance musicians benefited
15,175 live audience participants
45,748 online audience participants
GRANT ROUND 4 - AWARDS ANNOUNCED
We were delighted to announce the 24 period-instrument ensembles whose projects were awarded Round 4 Grants. As a result of these projects, there will be 67 performances and recordings taking place in 45 UK locations.
Thanks to this latest round of grants, we added 14 new period-instrument ensembles to our community of grantees, of which 3 are recently-formed ensembles.
Our Events Calendar is now filled with exciting performances through to the end of December, with more to come for January through to the end of March. We look forward to seeing these brilliant projects come to life over the coming months.
FUNDRAISING - 2023 GRANT ROUNDS
Our Patron, Rachel Podger, has commented: “There is so much creativity out there waiting to be unleashed. With increasing living costs and downward pressure on artists’ fees due to the slow return of audiences, the precarious livelihoods of freelance musicians remain under threat."
This is consistent with observations from our interactions with our grantee ensembles, and makes it more important than ever to maintain the momentum we have created. The positive feedback received from musicians and audiences on the artistic, financial and psychological impact of the £460,000 in grants awarded to date has been overwhelming.
Our key focus over the coming months is to close the immediate funding gap of £40,000 needed to reach the £100,000 target to launch Round 5 in January. As always, 100% of donations goes to helping musicians share their talent and bring inspiring music to communities across the UK.
If you are considering becoming a Continuo Foundation supporter, or wish to renew your support for our 2023 grants, please contact Tina Vadaneaux to discuss how you can make a difference.
CONTINUO WELCOMES DEAN JAMART-BROWNE
We are delighted that Dean has joined the Continuo team as Lead Product Manager for the Continuo Connect project. He has previously worked in innovation, product and problem-solving for Tesco, Unilever & Ogilvy and has launched several successful new ideas and products - one winning an Edison Award. Dean also has a musical background, having played both saxophone and percussion in a youth orchestra! Commenting on his new role with Continuo, Dean said: “It's wonderful to be working on such a purposeful and exciting project! Continuo Connect will help so many musicians to become more financially sustainable, and enable them to reach larger, more diverse audiences. I believe this is a pivotal moment for the sector and that this digital hub will be transformational, ushering in a new age for Early Music fans and artists across the country.
If you missed our item about the objectives of the Continuo Connect digital hub and how it aims to reinforce Continuo Foundation’s mission, there is an overview in our July Update. To learn more about Continuo Connect, please contact Dean Jamart-Browne or Tina Vadaneaux.
SEPTEMBER PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS
Apollo's Cabinet – ‘Who Killed Jean-Marie Leclair?’
Apollo's Cabinet, one of the recently-formed ensembles who received a Round 3 grant, took their baroque murder mystery play on tour to four locations. Pictured below at the atmospheric Sands Films Studios, the musicians presented their cleverly scripted play based on linking French Baroque music by Leclair and his contemporaries to the recitation of original witness and suspect statements from the unsolved murder case of the composer. The performance had four possible endings, depending upon which suspect was voted for by the audience as the likely murderer.
Dunedin Consort – ‘Mozart - Great Mass in C minor'
The Dunedin Consort orchestra and chorus, under the direction of John Butt, was joined by an outstanding cast of soloists including sopranos Lucy Crowe and Anna Dennis, tenor Benjamin Hulett and Bass Robert Davies for a concert tour and recording of Mozart's Great Mass in C Minor. The ensemble presented two concerts - the first to a sold-out audience at St Mary's Haddington (pictured) as part of the Lammermuir Festival, and the second in Perth, where the work was also recorded.
There will be another performance at Saffron Hall on the 19th November. Tickets available here. Please don't miss this opportunity to hear this fresh interpretation of Mozart's Mass in C Minor, based on a new scholarly edition by Clemens Kemme.
Photo: Lammermuir Festival, Stuart Armitt
La Serenissima – ‘An Englishman Abroad'
La Serenissima and Adrian Chandler (Director/Violin) toured a new programme of works exploring the little-known music of Anglo-Italian composer Nicola Matteis the Younger (c1678-1737) alongside works by Brescianello, Caldara, Purcell, Telemann and Vivaldi. The ensemble presented three well-attended live concerts which took place in London, Chipping Campden and Norfolk. La Serenissima will be making a recording of this programme later in the year for release on Signum.
Please click on the video below to hear an excerpt from a rehearsal of this exciting programme. We are delighted to see Samuel Ng - one of the ten recipients of our 'Award for Students of Historical Performance' in 2021 - playing cello in the ensemble!
The Early Opera Company – ’Handel - Amadigi’
Last year, the Early Opera Company recorded Handel’s early masterpiece 'Amadigi di Gaula', one of his finest operas, with a wonderful team of singers and players on the Chaconne label. The cast of world-class soloists includes Tim Mead as Amadigi, our Patron Mary Bevan as Melissa, Anna Dennis as Oriana and Hilary Summers as Dardano. We are delighted that the CD has received fantastic reviews and was selected as Guardian Music's Classical CD of the week when released. Please click on the video below to hear an excerpt from the CD which is now available here.