Prize-winner of the Malko Conducting Competition 2015 and Jorma Panula Conducting Competition 2012, Risto Joost has gained widespread recognition for his work both in the opera pit and on concert stage. His repertoire ranges from Baroque to the most challenging works of contemporary composers. Since 2009 Joost is Conductor of the Estonian National Opera, Chief Conductor of the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra from 2013 and Artistic Director of the MDR Leipzig Radio Choir from 2015/16 and from spring 2016 Artistic Director of Tallinn Philharmonic Society and Birgitta Festival.
Within short time Risto Joost has conducted many internationally acclaimed orchestras such as the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, MDR Leipzig Symphony, Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Helsingborg Symphony, NorrlandsOperan Orchestra, Gävle Symphony, Noord Nederlands Orkest, Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, Real Orquesta Sinfonica de Sevilla, Sinfonia Finlandia Jyväskylä, Vaasa City Orchestra, Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, Latvian National Symphony, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Tallinn Youth Orchestra, Tallinn Baroque Orchestra and the Macao Orchestra. He has also been working a number of esteemed vocal ensembles such as the RIAS Kammerchor, Rundfunkchor Berlin, SWR Vokalensemble, Netherlands Chamber Choir, Swedish Radio Choir, Ars Nova Copenhagen and the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir.
In the 2018/2019 season, new challenges await Risto Joost in front of the Oslo National Opera, Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra. In Leipzig, Risto Joost will be opening the new season with an elaborate concert of the MDR Radio Choir and Orchestra, conducting Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony. Another highlight of the season is Igor Stravinsky’s Oidipus Rex, an opera-oratorio based on Sophocles’ play with performances in Leipzig and Erfurt. The season will end with a live recording of the world première of a new composition by Tõnu Kõrvits with the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra and the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir.
Risto Joosts discography includes recordings 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 Orchestra and Tallinn Chamber Orchestra.
In 2019 the music editors of Estonian Broadcasting Company nominated Risto Joost as the Estonian musician of the year. In 2016 Risto Joost received the Music Prize of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia for artistic activities home and abroad and he was also awarded the Young Cultural Figure Award of the Estonian Republic in 2011.
His operatic repertoire includes Donizetti’s “L’elisir d’amore”, Verdi’s “La traviata”, Puccini’s “La bohème” and “Tosca”, Bizet’s “Carmen”, Gounod’s “Faust”, Bellini’s “Capuleti e I Montecchi”, “Wallenberg” by Erkki-Sven Tüür and ballets, such as Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake”, “The Nutcracker”, MacMillan’s “Manon”, Edur’s/Aints’ “Modigliani – the Cursed Artis” and others.
Risto Joost is one of the founders of Kamber, an Estonian artistic company which is focused on modern music theatre performance. He is also a co-founder of Baltic Studio Lirico, an international training programme for young opera singers.
Risto Joost has studied orchestral and choral conducting as well as singing 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.