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.


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