Established in 2018, we are a Baroque Orchestra based in the cultural hub of Wellington, New Zealand: a 17th century musical company for the 21st century. The leaders of our group are active scholars of 17th century performance practices at the New Zealand School of Music, and our performances are always informed by the latest scholarship on the music and performance practices of this era. We use period instruments and choose historically informed pitches depending on the repertoire we’re performing. Our membership includes a regular complement of diverse instruments and voices, including strings, woodwinds, percussion, harpsichord and brass including fully natural trumpets. In fact we may be the only baroque orchestra in Australasia performing exclusively with fully authentic natural trumpets, historically plausible strings and string technique, and historically plausible hoboys and reeds. All of this gives our orchestra a rich range of period sounds to support our Rhetorical playing and lends new insights into this ancient music.

Our goal is to bring music of the Baroque era to life in ways that are faithful to the performance practices of the time and make it relevant and alive for modern audiences. We aim to engage audiences and provide a truly immersive and authentic experience of this wonderful music.

The inspiration for our approach to musicking comes from the era of the Restoration of the English Monarchy between around 1660 and 1714. The opulence of The Queen’s Closet, a lavishly decorated room in London’s historic Ham House emblematic of Restoration England, matches the wide ranging tonal colours and aural richness of our music, making this a fitting name for our ensemble.

We are delighted to be supported in our current season by: