About

RESTORATION takes its name from that colourful era, the restoration of Charles II to the English throne in 1660 - the music of this time is central to the group’s repertoire. The name also evokes the art-restorer’s process of revealing the original colours and dramatic impact of a treasured art work. The group was formed in 1985 by Bronwen Pugh, Robert Petre, and soprano Rosalind Salas, following their extensive training and experience in Europe. They have worked with many visiting and local baroque specialists, including tours throughout New Zealand, appearances at the NZ International Festival of the Arts, the Wellington Festival of Early Music, and recordings for Radio New Zealand. Their CD Musick al’Italliana, recorded in London for the Meridian label, has been well received in both NZ and the UK, and their new recording of Rameau is also attracting critical acclaim.

'One of our best national assets for historically aware and keenly researched musical performances' (Radio NZ Concert, The Critic's Chair)
'Fine and dedicated artistry' (Otago Daily Times)
‘Unusual repertoire, authentic performance practice, fine musicians: an early music buff’s seventh heaven’ (Dominion)
‘Sounds of the utmost subtlety …Restoration have built up a large audience for their performances … audible sighs of musical satisfaction’  (Evening Post)
‘A very polished and accomplished concert … it was good to hear so much unfamiliar music so stylishly and enthusiastically performed’  (Music in New Zealand)
‘The intelligence and musical sensitivity of this group produced an evening of magical beauty’ (Christchurch Press)
‘An intriguingly planned concert, redolent with style and assurance’ (Music in New Zealand).

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Robert Petre thumbnailRobert Petre has specialized in the harpsichord and its repertoire from the 16th-18th centuries for over 30 years. He completed degrees at Victoria University, Wellington in music and languages, and in piano performance with Judith Clark, and was introduced to the harpsichord by Anna Hoffmann, Roy Tankersley and Anthony Jennings. He continued harpsichord studies in Europe and North America, where his teachers included Gerhardt Kastner (Berlin) and Colin Tilney (Toronto), and he participated in courses and masterclasses given by Gustav Leonhardt, Kenneth Gilbert, Robert Kohnen, the Kuijken brothers, Jordi Savall, Wendy Hilton and others. He has worked as soloist and continuo player with numerous ensembles in New Zealand, including Sonnerie, the Tudor Consort, and AK Barok, and was co-director of St Paul’s Baroque. His edition of Purcell’s The Harpsichord Master and articles on baroque music and dance have been published in London and in Wellington, where he has taught harpsichord for many years.

He is, quite simply, a superb artist … playing of subtlety and authority’ (Dominion)

‘An acknowledged master of the harpsichord’ (Evening Post )

‘Commanding harpsichord playing of virtuoso dexterity’ (Dominion)

‘Petre’s fine use of articulation to point up phrasing and texture, and his musicianly flexibility, were particularly evident’  (NZ Listener)

'Robert Petre's playing is extremely stylish: a rare treat to hear playing that combines historically accurate playing styles with an understanding for the music itself.'  (Pressing On, Radio New Zealand)

'Robert Petre's continuo was a consistent joy.'  (NZ Herald)

Harpsichord: built by Paul Downie, Auckland, 1980, after an original by Benoît Stehlin, Paris, 1760, now in the Smithsonian Institute, Washington.


Bronwen Pugh thumbnailBronwen Pugh completed a degree in philosophy at Victoria University of Wellington, and a diploma in violin performance at Auckland University. She spent three years at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague studying baroque violin with Sigiswald Kuijken, and became a member of several baroque orchestras and ensembles touring Europe. Returning to New Zealand, Bronwen has worked with visiting artists and local ensembles, including AK Barok, the Tudor Consort, Cantoris, and Extempore Plus, and with orchestras and chamber ensembles in Australia. From 1990 until 2005, she was music director at Wendy Hilton’s annual Workshop in Baroque Dance and Its Music at Stanford University, USA. Recent projects have included co-directing St Paul’s Baroque at the Wellington Cathedral of St Paul, working with musicians from New Zealand and Australia.

'Bronwen Pugh makes a gorgeous sound, combining elegance with virtuosity.'  (Pressing On, Radio New Zealand)

‘Bronwen Pugh played a charming, controlled and graceful solo full of delicacies such as a controlled mezza-voce tone and her extravagant runs, which added considerably to the quiet pleasures of the evening.’ (Evening Post)

‘The most colourful moment … was when Bronwen Pugh really let herself go and treated us to some fiddle playing which would not have been out of place in an Irish pub: freshness indeed.’  (Music in New Zealand)

‘Bronwen Pugh is a very fine instrumentalist indeed.  She understands the intricate questions of style and she produces a lovely rich open sound’ (Dominion)

‘Spacious phrasing and savoured ornamentation by Bronwen Pugh’ (Christchurch Press)

Violin: Mirecourt school, France, late 18th century.


Graham McPhail thumbnailGraham McPhail holds degrees in performance and musicology from Otago and Victoria Universities, and in education from Auckland University. He completed post-graduate study in baroque violin at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague with Sigiswald Kuijken. Graham co-founded the chamber ensemble Extempore, and has led baroque performances in Auckland for many ensembles over the last twenty years. He is the co-founder and co-artistic director of New Zealand’s baroque orchestra, AK Barok. In his work in music education at St Cuthbert’s College, the University of Auckland and through the Suzuki movement, Graham has taught many of New Zealand’s new generation of baroque instrument players.

‘The performance was near perfection….a flowing, beautifully integrated sound’  (Evening Post)

‘The violin of Graham McPhail is most captivating… a warm tone and secure intonation make for a stylish performance’ (The Recorder)

‘A ravishing duo…Graham McPhail is to be congratulated on an affecting performance’ (Evening Post)

‘The baroque violin was balanced to perfection’ (Dominion)

Violin: by Feyzeau, Bordeaux, France, 1750.

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