Thursday 4 February 2021

Aiming to help period-instrument ensembles to survive: the new Continuo Foundation is open for grant applications

Continuo Foundation logo
A new charity the Continuo Foundation, formed by former City director and music lover Tina Vadaneaux, is aiming to is help period-instrument ensembles of all sizes to survive by mobilising artistic projects creating employment for musicians. Longer term, it aims to provide a new centralised resource for connecting ensembles, musicians, audiences, and venues in order to grow the UK's historical performance sector and preserve its celebrated tradition of excellence.  

Formed in October 2020, the Continuo Foundation has Dame Emma Kirkby, Sir Roger Norrington and Rachel Podger as patrons. Having raised £100,000 in just three months, the foundation recently reached the first of many fundraising milestones and is now open for grant applications from period-instrument ensembles across the UK. 

The first round of grant applications are intended to mobilise projects for freelance musicians who rely on performance to maintain their skills and morale. Using the grants, the foundation wants to restore confidence after nearly a year of cancelled engagements for most ensembles, and to encourage groups to progress with projects despite uncertainty around audience restrictions and subsequent loss of ticket revenues.   

Future grant rounds will also be geared towards engaging new and more diverse audiences. Tina Vadaneaux explains: "The aim of Continuo is to create a virtuous circle - enabling nationwide touring of programmes to new venues and areas with a lack of provision in this genre of music. This in turn will also improve ensembles' financial sustainability as they rebuild from the devastating impact of the pandemic."

Grants from Continuo Foundation are open to professional UK-based period-instrument ensembles. Full details on how to apply are available on the foundation website.

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