The young Estonian conductor Risto Joost excels by his specialized versatility and has gained widespread recognition for his work both in the opera pit and on concert stage. The trained singer and Conductor in Residence of the Estonian National Opera has already held major artistic positions, such as Chief Conductor of the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra and Artistic Director of the MDR Leipzig Radio Choir from 2015 to 2019. He succeeded at important competitions and conducted some of the world’s most distinguished orchestras. Since 2020/21 Risto Joost is Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of Theatre Vanemuine Tartu.
Risto Joost is in demand as a guest conductor with orchestras such as Helsinki Philharmonic, Bergen Philharmonic, Norwegian Opera Orchestra, Tampere Philharmonic, Tapiola Sinfonietta,Trondheim Symphony, Netherlands Philharmonic, Noord Nederlands Orkest, Dortmund Philharmonic, Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn, Gulbenkian Orchestra & Choir, Prague Radio Symphony, Janacek Philharmonic, Brno Philharmonic, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra Teatro la Fenice, Latvian National Symphony, Liepaja Symphony, Estonian National Symphony among others.
In addition he collaborated with the RIAS Kammerchor, SWR Vokalensemble, Rundfunkchor Berlin, Swedish Radio Choir, Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir to name a few.
At the Estonian National Opera Risto Joost has led more than 20 premieres. His repertoire ranges from Baroque to the most challenging works of contemporary composers. At the Birgitta Festival Tallinn he led La Bohème in 2018.
Forthcoming highlights are his debuts with Bavarian State Opera Orchestra Munich, Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen, Philharmonie Zuidnederland, Kristiansand Symphony (Don Giovanni) and engagements to Slovenian Philharmonic & Choir, Gulbenkian Orchestra & Choir, WKO Heilbronn, Jyväskylä Sinfonia, Liepaja Symphony, Janacek Philharmonic etc.
At Theatre Vanemuine he conducts the premiere of Tonis Kaumann: The Mall as well as revivals of Tristan und Isolde, Don Giovanni, Madame Butterfly, Donizetti: Linda di Chamounix among others.
Risto Joost’s discography includes three albums by Tõnu Korvits: You are Light and Morning (Sei la luce e il mattino) with Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Hymns to the Nordic Lights with Estonian National Symphony as well as Moorland Elegies (all Ondine). Furthermore it contains works by Haydn with Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Peeter Vähi with Latvian National Symphony, Arvo Pärt with Netherlands Chamber Orchestra & Netherlands Chamber Choir.
For his artistic activities in Estonia and abroad, Risto Joost received the music award of the Cultural Foundation in Estonia in 2016 and was awarded the Young Cultural Figure Award of the Estonian Republic in 2011. He was Prizewinner of the Malko Conducting Competition 2015 and Jorma Panula Conducting Competition 2012.
Risto Joost has studied at the Estonian Academy of Music and received further training at the University for Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. In 2008, Risto Joost graduated from the Royal College of Music in Stockholm with a Masters Degree, majoring in orchestral conducting with Jorma Panula.
He founded the chamber choir Voces Musicales/Voces Tallinn in Estonia in 1999 and has been Artistic Director of the Birgitta Festival Tallinn in 2017 and 2018.
Season 2022/23Read more
Risto Joost gives his debut with Bavarian State Orchestra in Munich on 31 October and 1 November 2022. The programme features Rimsky-Korsakov: Sadko, Glasunov: Violin Concerto and Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition.
Risto Joost conducts the new production of Don Giovanni (direction: John Ramster) with the Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra and Kilden Opera in Kristiansand, Norway on 17 September 2022. Further performances: 20./22./24./27./29.09.2022.
Risto Joost conducts the premiere of Tonis Kaumann: The Mall at Vanemuine Theatre in Tartu on 19 August 2022 (direction:Liis Kolle). Further performances: 21.08., 14.09., 02.10., 19.11., 14.12., 28.01.2023, 23.03., 26.04.
Risto Joost conducts the Heilbronn Chamber Orchestra & Junger Kammerchor Rhein-Neckar at Festival Europäischer Kirchenmusik in Schwäbisch Gmünd on 16 July with music by Richard Strauss and Peteris Vasks.
(available until 22 August)
Risto Joost gives his debut with Gulbenkian Orchestra & Choir and soloists with Bach: Mass B minor at Basilica of Mafra, Portugal on 7 July.
On 3 December Risto Joost is at the rostrum of Liepaja Symphony in Latvia to conduct Heino Eller: Symphonic poem "Koit", Sibelius: Symphony No. 1 and the world premiere of Rihards Dubra: Concerto for harp and percussion.
Risto Joost conducts as season opening of the Vanemuine Symphony Wagner's Ouverture Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Mahler: Rückert-Lieder and Symphony No. 2 in three concerts in Tartu on 3 September, Johvi on 4 September and Tallinn on 5 September.
Risto Joost performs Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the Noord Nederlands Orkest & Noord Nederlands Concert Choir and soloists in an Open air concert in Biddinghuizen/Drachten on 22 August.
Risto Joost gives his debut with Dortmund Philharmonic on 8 June, 20:00 (CET) with Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream (excerpts) and Sibelius: Violin Concerto
(soloist: Alexander Prushinskiy). (Available until 9 June, 23:59). The Violin Concerto will be streamed live from Konzerthaus Dortmund, Mendelssohn will be available at a later stage. <link www.theaterdo.de/produktionen/detail/9-philharmonisches-konzert-skandinavische-weiten/ _blank>https://www.theaterdo.de/produktionen/detail/9-philharmonisches-konzert-skandinavische-weiten/</link>Read more
Risto Joost is at rostrum of Aalborg Symphony, Aalborg Philharmonic Choir and Thisted Kirkes Drenge-Mandskor in Aalborg and Thisted on 16 and 17 December. The programme features Händel: Messiah (Mozart version).
Risto Joost conducts the new production of Don Giovanni at Tartu Opera Estonia on 27 November (direction: Elmo Nüganen). Further dates: 04.12./15.12.2021/12.01.2022.
Risto Joost conducts the Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra in three concerts in Pärnu on 17 September, Tallinn on 18 September and Rezekne (Latvia) on 19 September. The programme includes music by Smetana, Bartók and Dvořák.
Ondine has released another album of Risto Joost, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra and Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir featuring Tonu Korvits: You are Light and Morning (Sei la luce e il mattino) to great acclaim. Listen to the recording here: <link https: open.spotify.com album _blank>
Risto Joost has been at the rostrum of Noord Nederlands Orkest on 17 December, 20:00 to conduct Händel: Messiah (arias for soprano and mezzo) and Music for the Royal
Fireworks, Samuel Scheidt: In Dulci Jubilo as well as Christmas Carols. Here the video: www.omropfryslan.nl/utstjoering/nno-konsert-fan-17-desimber-2020-2000Read more
Risto Joost stands at the rostrum of Pärnu City Orchestra in Pärnu on 24 October to conduct Beethoven's Symphony No. 8 and Prometheus (excerpts) as well as Mozart's Flute Concerto G Major KV 313.
Risto Joost conducted the Tapiola Sinfonietta in Espoo on 26 November to perform music by Esa-Pekka Salonen and Francis Poulenc to be streamed:
<link https: www.tapiolasinfonietta.fi en concert matinee-2-2>Read more
Risto Joost returns to the rostrum of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra on 6, 8 and 9 October to conduct music by Wagner, Mozart, Nico Muhly and Ravel. The concert on 9 October, 18:00 (CET) will be streamed live:<link https: helsinginkaupunginorkesteri.fi en hko-screen _blank>
Risto Joost conducts the Prague Symphony and Kühn Choir Prague with soloists on 22 September featuring music by Mozart and Arvo Pärt. Czech Radio broadcasts the concert.
Risto Joost conducts the season opening concert with the orchestra and chorus of the Vanemuine Theatre Tartu, Chamber Choir of University Tartu and soloists on 4, 7 and 8 September. The programme features Beethoven Symphony No. 9 and Eino Tamberg Avafanfaarid (Excerpts from Cyrano de Bergerac).
View a portrait of Risto Joost here: <link https: www.youtube.com _blank>
Risto Joost conducts the Heilbronn Chamber Orchestra in Heilbronn on 19 March and Ulm on 20 March. The programme features music by Erkki-Sven Tüür, Hindemith, Arvo Pärt, Britten and Sibelius.
On 5 March Risto Joost conducts the Janacek Philharmonic in Ostrava with music by Smetana, Wagner, Grieg, Sibelius and Pärt.
Risto Joost is at the rostrum of Tallinn Chamber Orchestra at ECM Festival in Hamburg Elbphilharmonie on 5 February to conduct the portrait Souvenance by and with Anouar Brahem for oud, bass clarinet, bass, piano and chamber orchestra.
Risto Joost conducts the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra in Dornbirn and Bruneco on 29 and 30 January. The programme features Arvo Pärt Cantus in memoriam
Benjamin Britten and Fratres for solo violin and orchestra, Mendelssohn Violin Concerto D minor (soloist: Carolin Widmann) and Erich Korngold Symphonic Serenade.Read more
The listener is enveloped by the recorded sound, sumptuous yet clear, the strings and the choir perfectly balanced, equal, as they should be.[…] The playing of the string group is glorious, deeply expressive and richly sonorous when required. . The team, under the dedicated guidance of Risto Joost, delivers the finest possible outing for a work that will repay repeated listening, a moving and significant addition to the choral repertoire.
Music Web International, William Hedley, 1/2021
Tõnu Korvits is an impressively unpredictable composer. […] His music is far from being mood music, however, in spite of the fact that it suggests atmospheres so well; it is engaging and colourful. […]The Estonian National Symphony Orchestra plays throughout with the greatest of conviction and the glossiest tone, driven on by Risto Joost’s unique understanding of Korvits’ work. This recording is everything one would expect from the Ondine label.
Gramophone, Ivan Moody, 10/2020
Risto Joost's beat technique was perfect and Mozart's Symphony KV 183 was delicately played by the Wuppertal Symphony. The music of Arvo Pärt was very sensitive, and his Fratres was fantastically beautiful in the void. [...] Joost's different seating order of the violas as well as the trombones in Mozart's Great Credo Mass C major together with the Volksbühnenchor and soloists created a great sound experience.
Westdeutsche Zeitung, Hartmut Sassenhausen, 26.11.2018
The Artistic Director of the MDR Choir increasingly assumes the role of an orchestral conductor- energeticly and grippingly. The MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony sounds compact under his direction, without scaffolding and strikingly transparent even at the ecstatic climaxes.
Leipziger Volkszeitung, Werner Kopfmüller, 18.09.2018
How emotional Risto Joost develops the hymn "Salve Regina" by Arvo Pärt from the first unison motives, which, in addition to the choral parts, only applies to strings and one organ. He leads the music in a curious status of detachment. It seems to touch the listener and to escape. (...) In Schubert's Symphony No. 8 “Unfinished”, Risto Joost recovers the force of the music in order not to cut off the musical language he has found in Pärt. This succeeds in a very sensitive, even more insistent interpretation of Schubert. Great applause already in the interval.
Südthüringer Zeitung, Peter Lauterbach,03.09.2018
In Rachmaninov's "sleigh ride", Risto Joost forms a sophisticated, magic winter sound and the MDR Symphony Orchestra infatuates with a mix of iridescent string tremolos and the glittering of glockenspiel, triangle and celesta (...). Huge applause for all artists.
Leipziger Volkszeitung, Werner Kopfmüller, 29.05.2018
In Brahms' Requiem, Risto Joost creates a compact sound of the orchestra and chorus in a philharmonic way, yet he does not neglect the detail. Above all, he devotes himself to the precious knit of the woodwind players and his orchestral equation is sonically wonderful. The chorus got a sound that has lost all earthly heaviness and distils the message from the syllables of the text without detour.(…) Joost’s interpretation is serious, deep, modest and inspired. In the future, he may carry the choral symphonic silverware behind the Gewandhaus Orchestra with pleasure.
Leipziger Volkszeitung, Peter Korfmacher, 27.11.2017
Risto Joost conducts Schumann's Second Symphony finely differentiated, with beautiful ideas in the detailed motives. The first-class woodwinds present themselves finely balanced, enthralled with bewitchingly beautiful solos, the strings sparkle virtuosically and powerfully. (…) Joost allows Mendelssohn's "Verleih uns Frieden" for choir and orchestra to sound very profoundly, naturally, deeply inspired with a pliable beat. Stellar minutes of choral symphonic music!
Leipziger Volkszeitung, Peter Korfmacher, 25.09.2017
The young, steadily rising Estonian conductor Risto Joost has given the attention of Georg Friedrich Haas consciously preserved parts of the Mozart Requiem in their fragmentary form. In "Rex tremendae", with delicate consolation, the gloom and force in the "Introitus" are combined with moments of lightest consolation, while the "Dies irae" is truly stormy and breaks in and almost vibrates in the "Tuba mirum". Messiaens / Gottwald's "Louange á l'eternité de Jesus" is celebrated with great transparency.
Rhein-Zeitung, Lieselotte Sauer-Kaulbach, 22.07.2017
Risto Joost showed impressively the sophisticated culture of playing by the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra in the cathedral of Bautzen. Johann Sebastian Bach and Arvo Pärt joined together as soul-related solitaires, polished and unobtrusively. With a well-balanced and contrasting accompaniment, as Bach's concertos ask for. With an intensity that hits the mark with Pärt’s “Silouan's song”. (...) This evening featured Bach in a lively joy of playing, Pärt offered sensational moments. Joost and his orchestra brought the audience to hovering here, and gave a special, Baltic affinity to this music similar to a mother tongue.Long applause.
Sächsische Zeitung, Karsten Blüthgen, 10.07.2017
Tonu Korvits does not hesitate to use familiar compositions, with regular melodies and tonal sounds,up to close harmonies. With the choral tradition of the Baltics he combines an captivating level of string orchestra. (...) In the realization of this recording, the composer had the superb Tallinn Chamber Orchestra and Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, an apparently uncommonly sensitive conductor and, moreover, two excellent soloists.
Rasmus van Rijn, www.klassik-heute.com, 23.05.2017
Risto Joost inspires the WKO strings in Heino Eller’s pieces to even more precise interplay, clear breathing melodies, subtly muted soundscapes and accentuated emphase. He clearly has the typical sound effects of his Tallinn Chamber Orchestra in his ear, which he can convey to the WKO in a very short time. (...)The energy of the orchestra in the encore by Jonas Tarm's "Yellow Media" is still striking above the electrifying "Souvenir de Florence" by Tchaikovsky.
Heilbronner Stimme, Lothar Heinle, 28.04.2017
Risto Joost led the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra with a fascinating energy through Tchaikovsky's "Souvenir de Florence". Elegiac cantilenas, a touch of Italy in the Pizzicato moments, and an Allegretto à la "Bohemian Rhapsody": an abundance of sounds that swept the audience to a raving applause. (...)The passion with which Joost directed the WKO in Jonas Tarm's "rainbow press" was equal to the passion dedicated by the musicians.
Neu-Ulmer Zeitung, Dagmar Hub, 29.04.2017
In Mozart's motet ‘Ave verum corpus’, Risto Joost shapes the music through the slightest changes in the flow of his movement. Just these five minutes show the many dynamic nuances of the award-winning choir, supported by the orchestra. Joost weights the instrumental and vocal voices in the C Minor Mass with clarity and musical intelligence,which leads into a homogenous unity. In the final both choir and soloists unleash a dazzling forte.
Leipziger Volkszeitung, Katharina Stork, 04.04.2017
Risto Joost conducted the large potpourri Tableaux from the Meistersinger, Parsifal, Tannhäuser and the Flying Dutchman with the MDR Sinfonieorchester and Rundfunkchor to great seriousness and great vocals. And with huge inspiration and great technical impact. His quite unique vocal ensemble, e.g. the women singers in Parsifal can never be heard like this in an opera house - even not in Bayreuth. They got a sensual pianissimo melting, crystal-clear overtone pomp and an assertiveness in the forte, where the ladies are traveling on a par with the equally sensational male choir.
Leipziger Volkszeitung, Peter Korfmacher, 24.05.2016
After Introitus and Kyrie which Risto Joost conducted by intense energy and a tight tempo creating strong colorful contrasts and the required theatricality, the fragment sounded step by step minimalistic: The soloists were accompanied in Tuba mirum and Recordare only by a few instrumentalists at time. (...) The result has been captivating under the direction of Risto Joost.
Esslinger Zeitung, Verena Großkreutz, 21.03.2016
Risto Joost’s “Elias” proves that one has to count on the young Baltic man. The diligence in which he brings the more than two hours to sound, gives evidence of the deep pervasion. He could make it more easily and could simulate extreme over-reliance, rely on effects or let speak the sheer quality of his choir itself. But Joost tells the story of the massive and violent zealot flawlessly from the centre of the symphonic structure.
The result is a very eclectic and concise interpretation of Mendelssohn which keeps the classical balance and draws its strength from structure. From the finely created overture to the grandiosity of the final chorus.
Peter Korfmacher, Leipziger Volkszeitung, 10.10.2015
Airy, impressive and inspired – that’s the resumé of this Messiah. Händel's most popular oratorio was acknowledged with standing ovations and bravos. The 35-year-old Risto Joost on the podium has succeeded a master stroke. Above all, the MDR Leipzig Radio Choir celebrated a feast under Joost, who conducted alertly, precisely and inspiringly.(…) The orchestra played almost without vibrato, slim and refreshing, and Joost tamed the sonority of the modern instruments, whereas the “Mozart colours” of the wood winds were audible as warming ingredient.
Sächsische Zeitung, Karsten Blüthgen, 31.08.2015
Only 33-years-old Risto Joost, in our area still an unknown conductor, while he could be seen just recently at the Schleswig-Holstin Musikfestival, is conductor at the Estonian National Opera in Tallinn. With the Tannhäuser overture he has proven himself to be a true opera conductor that convinced the sceptic audience fully and on the spot. They raised the roof with this kick-off, which was unique in its tightness and dramatic effect. Joost conducted the musicians from more than 40 different nations and five continents with energy and power but also with the modesty of a skilled craftsman. He made them produce unity, coherence, abundance, and especially in the winds a surprisingly softness of sound.
Insuedthueringen.de, Julia Lucas, 26.08.2013
In addition to a clear dynamic plan, Risto Joost’s conducting also displays narrativity: he infuses the piece with expressive dynamics and gives emphatic cues to both the sections and soloists, valuing players as characters whose entries and exits form an important part of the story. The symbiosis of musical narrative and delicate dynamics is what makes the music so enchanting and allows it to captivate the audience. And this is exactly what it did.
SIRP/ Estonian national weekly cultural newspaper, 18.10.2013