Author: Camilla Scarlett

A Serene start to 2021

The first week of January saw the group notch up 11,000+ streams on Spotify for new single by Dall’Abaco, the first of 3 tracks to be aired ahead of new album Settecento coming out on Signum on 12th February. Keep an eye out for singles by Vandini and Vivaldi over the intervening weeks!

BBC Music Magazine featured several performances (live and studio-recorded) of music by Albinoni played by La Serenissima in their January issue cover CD. We loved revisiting these tracks and hope we’ve made a few more Albinoni fans along the way.

We also launched our Serene Recovery Fund campaign over Christmas and have been uplifted by the generosity demonstrated by supporters so far. This fund will be central to our survival as we make the transition back to live performance. Please get in touch if you can help us this year.

We can also confirm that the editing process for the first album of Brescianello’s Opus 1 is well underway. The material was created in October 2020 – the product of our first project together since the first UK lockdown – and the initial edit has arrived, brimming with optimism. We’re very excited by the results and look forward to sharing this thumping album later in the year.

The picture shows the band working with new social distancing protocols in place, at the Johnson Hall, to record the first of two albums of Brescianello.

The UK’s Culture Recovery Fund fails to support La Serenissima

La Serenissima learned on Monday 12 October that its application to the UK’s Culture Recovery Fund has failed. The outcome places La Serenissima outside the 1,974+ organisations who will benefit from the Chancellor’s landmark support for the Arts, putting the work of the ensemble in serious peril as it heads towards many more months without the opportunity of touring.

La Serenissima occupies a unique position in the UK’s cultural ecology, being the only instrumental group of its kind to work exclusively from in-house research and editing work. Recognised for the flair and quality of its performances, La Serenissima has won 2 Gramophone Awards, topped the UK Classical Chart and has featured in international film (most recently in the closing scene of Portrait of a Lady on Fire), television and advertising. It has worked hard to champion access to its music, creating programmes to spark engagement from beyond a core classical music audience and through touring outreach workshops across the UK. In 2017, La Serenissima’s cultural contribution was recognised by a partnership with the Italian Embassy and the support of Honorary Patron His Excellency the Ambassador of Italy to the UK. The ensemble was due to embark on a 2-year Wigmore Hall residency this autumn until Covid-19 forced the venue to re-programme taking into account social distancing measures.

Founder and director/violinist Adrian Chandler comments: “In the 25+ years of running La Serenissima, we’ve delivered significant impact, enriching countless lives through our passion and commitment to Italian baroque music, without the safety blanket of recurrent funding. To be denied a CRF grant for La Serenissima at this critical time is devastating both for me personally and for our team as a whole. It’s clear now that La Serenissima will only weather this disaster through acts of extraordinary support from those that care about our mission.”

Since the onset of Covid-19, La Serenissima has responded to events by moving the small administrative team from a rural office set-up to home-working, launching a crowdfunding campaign in support of its musicians. Although the group secured Emergency funding from Arts Council England in April 2020 to enable the organisation to remain operational over the initial 6-month period of closure, the latest funding announcement presents a major obstacle to the continuation of this remarkable British orchestra.

To find out how you can support La Serenissima, please contact General Manager Camilla Scarlett.

COVID-19 Artist Relief Fund launched

La Serenissima has taken the unprecedented step of launching a Crowdfunding campaign via Global Giving to raise money to support its freelance workforce during the COVID-19 crisis. Our aim is to give our musicians a proportion of the fees they would have earned from planned work with La Serenissima, had the performances not been shut down. In doing so, we hope other organisations will rally to do the same for their ensembles. We are nothing without our band.

We recognise the vulnerable place that all our artists are in right now, as all public-facing activities (including most teaching and concerts) have been curbed for the foreseeable future. It is also clear that COVID-19’s impact to the UK and World economy will continue to threaten musicians’ livelihoods once the crisis has receded. If our artists can’t survive this difficult chapter, there wont be a highly-skilled band to carry out La Serenissima’s mission in the future. If you are able to help us, we’d be very grateful for your support.

Global Giving will be matching small donations (up to $50) at 50% during the week of 23 March so do join our crowd if you can.

Please donate: Support our musicians during the COVID-19 response

THANK YOU for showing your support

Adrian, Camilla & Emma



Audition Date: Monday 16 March 2020

Venue: Holy Innocents Church, Paddenswick Road, London W6 0UB (Nearest tube: Ravenscourt Park, District Line)


La Serenissima invites applications from instrumentalists who:

  • Love Italian baroque music
  • Play on period-instruments: violin, viola, cello, bass, oboe & bassoon 
  • Are postgraduate level OR recently graduated OR in the early stages of a freelance career
  • Are under 30 years of age
  • Have appropriate legal status to accept paid work in the UK

To apply to audition, please email before 1 March 2020, telling us your name and instrument & attaching a CV that covers:

  • Your course of study & teacher
  • Relevant experience
  • The name of 2 referees & their contact details
  • Your date of birth & nationality

The Nitty-Gritty:

  • Please come prepared to play excerpts from 2 pieces of your choice – bear in mind we mostly play Italian baroque music! 
  • Auditions will be at Venetian pitch ie. A=440 Hz (although wind players are welcome to audition at A=415 Hz if necessary)
  • There will be a harpsichordist to accompany auditions, so do bring continuo parts NB there wont be the chance to rehearse
  • We’ll be running audition slots throughout the day and into the early-evening subject to demand and we’ll let you know about confirmed slots by 6 March
  • La Serenissima is not able to pay applicants’ expenses for auditioning

If you have any questions, just ask us!

The Audition Day for our Emerging Artist Chairs scheme is generously supported by Mary Kane & Tony Loader

The Godfather new album out now

The Godfather has been released on Signum Records! Featuring music by a host of Italian and German masters including JS Bach, Brescianello, Fasch, Pisendel, Telemann and Vivaldi, the album has already been praised by BBC Radio 3 for its ‘on-point playing’ (Essential Classics) and ended a triumphant hour dedicated to ‘La Serenissima at 25’ on The Early Music Show. Visit here for more information.

Crowdfunding for new album The Godfather

We’ve launched a new campaign via Global Giving to support the costs of making new recording The Godfather. Please visit Global Giving to donate and help us reach our target! Donations made on Tuesday 27 November #GivingTuesday will receive additional funding by Global Giving so do make a note in your diaries to support us that day if possible.

The album represents an important development to our footprint, marking the first time we record German orchestral works including music by JS Bach, Pisendel and Telemann. Recent recording work by La Serenissima has reached No. 1 in the UK Specialist Classical Chart, won the Gramophone Award in the Baroque Instrumental category and been acclaimed on Radio 3 and Classic FM. Our albums have an audience of millions via streaming and radio play alone, representing the most powerful means of sharing our mission with the world.

Global Giving is a philanthropic crowdfunding system which means that La Serenissima will receive all donations made, regardless of whether the target is reached. Any donor contributing £250 or more to the campaign will receive a signed copy of the new disc, provided we can reach you! The campaign aims to raise a third of the costs of the new recording. If you would prefer to sponsor a track or offer major support to the project, please contact for more information. We need your help!

Putting the rock in baroque: Vivaldi x2 makes No. 1

New release Vivaldi x2 hit the market on 20 July and entered the UK Specialist Classical Chart at No. 1. This extraordinary achievement reflects growing interest driven by a recent successful crowdfunding campaign and developing followers through recent flagship programmes The Four Seasons and Gramophone Award winner The Italian Job. The new record has been widely featured on BBC Radio 3 programmes Essential Classics, In Tune and Record Review and was celebrated on Classic FM as John Suchet’s ‘Disc of the Week’ with the immortal observation that La Serenissima ‘really put the rock into baroque’. The Telegraph critic Ivan Hewitt continued the theme by saying that listening to Vivaldi x2 prompted him to realise that ‘It was Vivaldi, not Louis Armstrong or Hendrix, who invented the riff’. We couldn’t agree more!

La Serenissima colleague Tabea Debus wins YCAT representation

We are thrilled to share the news that Tabea Debus, outstanding German recorder player and much-valued colleague, has been chosen by the Young Classical Artists Trust for representation this year. Tabea gave a winning performance at London’s Wigmore Hall yesterday. She is one of three chosen artists, whittled down from 8 finalists and more than 100 applicants. This is an outstanding achievement and very richly deserved. Brava Tabea!

Tabea Debus
© Maximilian Motel


Crowdfunding for Vivaldi x2 starts Monday 12th March

La Serenissima rehearsing Photograph by Stephen Page, fatkoala images

What are we trying to achieve?

Very simply: we want to reach 600 donors who will give £25 (or $35) to the campaign, in recognition of our 25th Anniversary in 2019.

La Serenissima is participating in Global Giving’s March Accelerator to raise the remaining funds needed to release new recording Vivaldi x2. This is the first time we have used crowdfunding to support our work.

We have a funding goal of £15,000 (or $21,000). Raising this money will enable us to produce, manufacture and launch Vivaldi x2 and will release the project globally. Supporters will enable CDs to be sold worldwide on behalf of the charity and will also make the project freely available via radio-play and streaming. Recording is the single biggest way that we can widen our mission’s reach. It renews our connection with an audience in excess of 8 million.

We receive no recurrent funding and have no permanent staff. In taking part in Global Giving’s training programme, we aim to diversify La Serenissima’s income streams and grow our crowd of supporters which will help to sustain our unique work.



About Global Giving

Global Giving is a charity based in the UK and US with a mission to transform aid and philanthropy to accelerate community-led change. They represent the largest global crowdfunding community connecting nonprofits, donors and companies. Global Giving is a registered charity in the UK and US.

New recording in the can!

La Serenissima enjoyed 4 blissful days of recording Vivaldi double concerti in the beautiful surroundings of Cedars Hall in Wells, Somerset during February; we made some of the best performances we’ve ever recorded during those days and we are extremely excited about the prospect of releasing the new record ‘Vivaldi x2’. It was also the first time that we have had the support of any extra help during the sessions: new Operations Manager Emma Wilkinson was a stellar addition to the team and enabled Artistic Director Adrian Chandler and General Manager Camilla Scarlett to concentrate on violin-playing for the whole 4 days…

We’re so grateful to Mr & Mrs J A Pye’s Charitable Settlement for their support of the majority of the artistic costs, as well as to the many generous individuals who have donated.

We are now preparing to launch a crowdfunding initiative via Global Giving who have accepted us on their March Accelerator. More about Global Giving here:

We hope supporters will be willing to respond to our appeal for help in raising sufficient funds to release and launch this new CD. It’s an important part of delivering our mission: to bring Italian baroque music to the widest audience.

Watch this space and SAVE THE DATE: 12th-30th March 2018

We will send out our next newsletter once our project is posted on the Global Giving site and explain more about the campaign, including how Global Giving will offer additional funding and benefits to La Serenissima if we generate a successful crowdfunding campaign.

Enjoy this video of part of the sessions made in February, to get you in the mood to donate:

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La Serenissima

Company no. 8370390 | Charity no. 1154940
Registered address: Hillside, Bourton-on-the-Hill, Moreton in Marsh, Gloucestershire GL56 9AH

La Serenissima is a Member of the Association of British Orchestras & a Founder Member of Opera UK.