Prizewinner of the Malko Conducting Competition 2015 and Jorma Panula Conducting Competition 2012, 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 long-term conductor of the Estonian National Opera, is Chief Conductor of the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra since 2013 and Artistic Director of the MDR Leipzig Radio Choir since 2015.
Alongside his manifold projects with the MDR Leipzig Symphony and MDR Leipzig Radio Choir Risto Joost is in demand as a guest conductor with orchestras such as SWR Symphonieorchester, Mariinsky Orchestra, Orchestra dell Teatro La Fenice, Netherlands Philharmonic, Strasbourg Philharmonic, Tampere Philharmonic, Prague Radio Symphony, Janacek Philharmonic, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, Real Orquesta Sinfonica de Sevilla, Latvian National Symphony, Orchestra, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Tallinn Baroque Orchestra among others as well as vocal ensembles as RIAS Kammerchor, Rundfunkchor Berlin, SWR Vokalensemble, Netherlands Chamber Choir, Ars Nova Copenhagen and the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir for choral symphonic programmes. From 2011 to 2015 he was Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Chamber Choir.
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.
Highlights of this season are engagements with the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra/Netherlands Chamber Choir, SWR Vokalensemble, Czech Radio Symphony and Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus. Risto Joost conducts various programmes with the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony /MDR Choir featuring Mendelssohn Symphony No. 2, Schumann Symphony No. 2, Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4, Rachmaninov The Bells, Brahms’ Requiem and Haydn’s Creation.
Since 2016 Risto Joost is Artistic Director of the Tallinn Philharmonic Society and Birgitta Festival in Tallinn.
His discography includes the highly praised album of Tonu Korvits’ Moorland Elegies (Ondine Records) and works by Haydn with the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Peeter Vähi with the Latvian National Symphony, Arvo Pärt with the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra and Chamber Choir, various recordings of Estonian music with the Estonian National Symphony and Tallinn Chamber Orchestra.
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.
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.
Season 2017/18Read more
Risto Joost conducts Haydn's Creation complemented with video installations by Devon Miles with MDR Leipzig Symphony, MDR Radio Choir and soloists in Leipzig on 17 March. MDR Kultur broadcasts the concert on 1 April, 19:30-22:00 (CET): https://www.mdr.de/kultur/radio/ipg/sendung-276434_date-2018-04-01_ipgctx-true_zc-36ee651a.html
Risto Joost directs the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, Netherlands Chamber Choir and soloists in Alkmaar on 1 March, Concertgebouw Amsterdam on 2 and 3 March, and
Haarlem on 4 March. The programme features the first performance of Guillaume Connesson's Liturgies de Lumière for chamber orchestra and choir, Ralph Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis and the Fauré Requiem.Read more
Risto Joost gives his debut with the Prague Radio Symphony on 5 February with Schumann's Konzertstück for 4 horns and orchestra op. 86, Arvo Pärt's Symphony No. 3 and Sibelius' Lemminkainen Suite op. 22.
Risto Joost conducts Charles Gounod's Faust at the Latvian National Opera in Riga on 21 February.
The Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and Risto Joost are performing two concerts in Groningen on 25 January and Brussels on 27 January with an Arvo Pärt portrait featuring
Cantus in memoriam of Benjamin Britten, Adam's Lament, Fratres and Te Deum.Read more
Risto Joost presents Brahms' A German Requiem in two concerts on 25 November in Dresden (Frauenkirche) and 26 November in Leipzig (Gewandhaus) with the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony and Choir and soloists. MDR Kultur broadcasts the concert on 26 November from 19:30-22:00.
Risto Joost conducts the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir and soloists in Ljubljana on 26 and 27 October in Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 2 "Lobgesang".
Risto Joost conducts the Tapiola Sinfonietta in Espoo on 13 October presenting Lepo Sumera, Music for Chamber Orchestra, György Ligeti Violin Concerto and Mozart's Symphony No. 41, ‘Jupiter’.
Risto Joost conducts the season opening concert of the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra on 7 October. The programme features Mahler, Das Lied von der Erde, Jaan Rääts, Concerto No. 2 for chamber orchestra and arias by W.A. Mozart. Kai Rüütel and Mati Turi are soloists.
Risto Joost conducts the MDR Symphony, MDR Radio Choir and soloists at Leipzig Gewandhaus on 24 September (11:00) with Schumann's Second Symphony
and Mendelssohn's Second Symphony "Lobgesang". MDR KULTUR and MDR KLASSIK broadcast the recording of the concert the same day at 19:30.Read more
Risto Joost conducts the Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra in Ostrava on 7 September with Arvo Pärt's Lamentate for piano and orchestra and Franz Liszt's Dante
Sinfonie joined by a female choir and a boys' choir.Read more
Risto Joost conducts Haydn's The Seasons in a staged version (director: Ran Arthur Braun) at Birgitta Festival in Tallinn on 4 and 5 August with the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra. Further partners are the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and three soloists.
Risto Joost conducts the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony and Choir and soloists in Erfurt on 24 June in the opening concert of the MDR Musiksommer. The programme
includes Mozart: Ave verum corpus, Peteris Vasks: Violin Concerto Tala gaisma and Mozart: Mass c Minor KV 427.Read more
Risto Joost and the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra perform at MDR Musiksommer in Bautzen on 7 July a Bach-Pärt programme featuring Brandenburgisches Konzert No. 3 and 5, Violin Concerto E Major as well as Tabula rasa and Silouan's Song.
Risto Joost is at rostrum of the Orquestra Sinfônica de Porto Alegre on 14 November conducting the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 and Bruckner Symphony No. 4.
Ondine Records releases in April 2017 the recording of Tonu Korvits' "Moorland Elegies" by Risto Joost, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra and Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, who performed the premiere of this highly poetic cycle, full of visionary fantasies in 2015.
Risto Joost conducts on 9 June Benjamin Britten's Chamber Opera Curlew River with members of the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony and Choir with soloists.
Fascinated by the traditional Japanese NO theatre, Britten combined in his church parable characteristic play and music style of far-eastern theatre with elements of the medieval mystery play and Gregorian singing. bit.ly/2s8Xta4Read more
Risto Joost conducts Carmen in concert performance with the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony and Choir at Leipzig Gewandhaus on 28 May.
Risto Joost conducts the Odense Symphony, joined by Philharmonic Choir Odense and soloists, in an all-in Mozart concert on 6 April. The programme includes Symphony KV 16a 'Odense', Vesperae solennes de Confessore and 'Coronation Mass' KV 317.
Risto Joost conducts a complete Mozart programme with the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony and Choir in two concerts in Magdeburg and Leipzig Gewandhaus on 1 and 2 April with Symphony 'Jupiter', motet "Ave verum corpus" and Mass C minor.
Risto Joost conducts the new production of Le nozze di Figaro at the Estonian National Opera in Tallinn on 3 February (production: Marco Gandini). Further performances on 5, 17 and 25 February.
Risto Joost is conductor and soloist in a concert with the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra in Tallinn on 26 January performing John Dowland’s/Tonu Korvits’ “Flow my tears” for counter tenor and orchestra, George Crumb’s “Black
Angels”, Kristjan Körver’s “Schizzo concertato”, John Cage’s “4’33’’” and Arnold Schönberg’s “Transfigured Night”.
Risto Joost gives his debut with the Orchestra del Teatro La Fenice in Venice on 7 and 8 January with Ildebrando Pizzetti's Piano Concerto Canti della stagione alta (soloist: Alberto Ferro) and Jean Sibelius' Symphony No. 5.
Risto Joost conducts the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra in Amsterdam on 15 December featuring a Baltic programme: Arvo Pärt Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten, Peteris Vasks Violin Concerto 'Distant light' and Arvo Pärt Symphony No. 4 'Los Angeles'.
Risto Joost conducts the Tampere Philharmonic on 11 November with Beethoven Overture Leonore No. 3 and Piano Concerto No. 3 followed by Schumann Symphony No. 3.
Risto Joost gives his debut with the Strasbourg Philharmonic joined by the Voces Musicales Chamber Choir of Tallinn on 28 September. He conducts works by
Heino Eller, Arvo Pärt and Eduard Tubin within Eesti! Musiques d'Estonie in Strasbourg. Further concert on 29 September.Read more
Risto Joost directs Mendelssohn's Paulus with the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony and Choir and soloists on 17 September at Leipzig Gewandhaus. MDR Kultur broadcasts the concert on 18 September at 19:30.
Risto Joost conducts the first performance of Ülo Krigul's opera Swan Bone City at the Estonian Saarema Opera Festival in Kuressaare on 25 July with the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and soloists (direction: Marianne Körver).
Risto Joost conducts the Turku Philharmonic on 8 September with following programme: Arvo Pärt Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten, Peteris Vasks Viola Concerto (Finnish first performance) and Prokoviev Symphony No. 5.
Risto Joost conducts the Württembergische Kammerorchester Heilbronn in two concerts in Heilbronn and Ulm on 26 and 27 April. The programmes features Sechs Lieder by Schubert (soloist: Mojca Erdmann), Heino Eller's Five pieces for string orchestra and Tchaikovsky's 'Souvenir de Florence'.
Risto Joost conducts the Tapiola Sinfonietta in Espoo on 2 June with two Haydn Symphonies, No. 1, D major and No. 104, D major joined by songs of Franz Schubert.
Risto Joost conducts the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony and Choir with a Wagner Gala on 22 May in Leipzig Gewandhaus featuring excerpts of »Der fliegende
Holländer«, »Tannhäuser«, »Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg« and »Parsifal«.Read more
Risto Joost conducts the MDR Symphony and MDR Radio Choir in two concerts in Leipzig on 26 February and Magdeburg on 27 February with an Arvo Pärt portrait.
The programme includes Orient&Occident, Nunc Dimittis, Adam’s Lament, Fratres and Te Deum.Read more
Risto Joost conducts the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra on 9 April in Kokkola (Finland) with Strawinsky's Concerto in D and Apollon Musagete matched with Arvo Pärt's Tabula Rasa and Orient & Occident.
Risto Joost is at the rostrum of the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra in Turku on 25 September to conduct Arvo Pärt's Symphony No. 4 Los Angeles as well as works by Finnish composers Mikko Heiniö and Pertti Javala.
Risto Joost gives his debut with the L’Orchestre Nationale d’ile de France in Paris on 12 September with an Anouar Brahem portrait at the Festival d’ile de France.
Risto Joost conducts an Opera Gala with the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra on 5 September in Amsterdam/Almere. The programme features overtures and arias by Franz Lehar with young soloists.
Risto Joost conducts the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony, MDR Leipzig Radio Choir and soloists in Dresden, Frauenkirche on 29 August at the final concert of the MDR Musiksommer featuring Händel’s Messiah.
Risto Joost gives his debut with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra on 14 August at Concertgebouw Amsterdam with Dvorak Overture Carnival, Brahms Violin Concerto (soloist: Sergey Khachatryan) and Rimsky-Korsakov Sheherazade.
Risto Joost conducts J.S. Bach Matthew Passion with Noord Nederlands Orkest, Noord Nederlands Concertkoor and soloists in seven concerts in Netherlands from 26 March - 3 April. The final concerts of the tour will take place in Groningen on 2 and 3 April.
Risto Joost is to seen at the rostrum of the Latvian National Symphony in Riga on 6 March with an American programme: Leonard Bernstein Overture Candide and
Serenade after Plato’s Symposium, Charles Ives Orchestral Set No. 1: Three Places in New England und Aaron Copland El Salón México.Read more
Risto Joost conducts the Vaasa City Orchestra in Vaasa, Finland, on 27 November. The programme includes Haydn Overture “Armida” Hob. XXVIII:12, Mendelssohn Violin Concerto e minor and Mozart Symphony No. 40 g minor K. 550.
He is considered to be one of the most innovative minds of the young conductor scene and has been appointed as Artistic Director of the MDR Leipzig Radio Choir. After positions in Tallinn and Amsterdam Risto Joost starts his new position as of the season 2015/2016.
The Estonian conductor Risto Joost is first at the rostrum of the Sinfonia Finlandia Jyväskylä with the first performance of Pekka Kostiainen’s requiem. The concert takes place on 29 October in Jyväskylä with the participation of the Musica Choir and soloists.
The young and aspiring conductor leads the SWR Vocal Ensemble and the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra with a concert in Fellbach on September 12 honouring the Estonian composer Arvo Pärts. On the programme are Orient & Occident, Magnificat, Adam's Lament, Fratres and Te Deum.
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
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
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
The 33-year-old Estonian Risto Joost conducts with tremendous preciseness altough without baton. His body tense from tip to toe, he incites the orchestra to beautifully gentle and explicitly precise cues and blooming sounds. He passed on his positive attitude to the musicians. The five pieces for string orchestra by Estonian composer Heino eller, one of the founders of the Estonian symphony and chamber music, was dominated by the strings.
Eckernförder Zeitung, 12.08.2013,