Ruut Kiiski (b. 1984) is a conductor with a capacity to regenerate. Having become entranced by the oddities of contemporary music during her years with the chamber choir EMO Ensemble, Ruut has gone on to spearhead numerous premières of new music. She is fascinated by that wonderful moment when notes on paper turn into music for the first time. Ruut has even set in motion a new orchestra, Camerata Vihti. Ruut’s lack of prejudice in trying new things and her need to test established boundaries spring from the unique journey she has made up to this point. To her post before the orchestra she brings her experience as a church musician and choir conductor: knowledge that all music emanates from breathing.
Ruut graduated as a conductor in 2015 from the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, with Sweden becoming a second home. Studying under Professor B. Tommy Andersson and Daniel Harding, and gaining inside knowledge of another country’s music culture, allowed her to turn a fresh page in the score of her conducting career. Before her time in Stockholm, Ruut had completed Master’s studies at Sibelius Academy in both choral conducting (2011) and church music (2008). At the Academy she acquired not only solid musical competence that does not shy away from different styles, but also her ability to work with people: she knows that when musicians feel good they can give their best. Her diverse collaboration projects have opened Ruut’s eyes to how music can serve people in different situations – and not only within the conventional framework of high culture. Ruut has complemented her studies with master classes from maestros including Valery Gergiev (Turku, 2016) and Herbert Blomstedt (Stockholm, 2015), where she wielded her baton before the Mariinsky Orchestra and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Thanks to her affinity to the vocal instrument, Ruut loves spending time in the maelstrom of opera music. In the spring of 2018 she débuted at the helm of the Göteborg Opera Orchestra, and in 2017 she worked as assistant conductor to Leif Segerstam for the opera production Die Kalewalainen in Pochjola at the Turku Music Festival, among other positions. Also in 2017, Ruut led the première of Pauliina Isomäki’s oratorio Vuorisaarna (“Sermon on the Mount”) as conductor of the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, and conducted the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra in their performance of the exceptional radio opera Queen of the Cold Land by Riikka Talvitie. Other orchestras that have had the pleasure of working with Ruut include Jyväskylä Sinfonia, the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, the Wermland Opera Orchestra, the Orchestre national des Pays de la Loire and Malmö Symphony Orchestra.
As for 2020, among other engagements Ruut is looking forward to a Turandot production with the Opera BOX in Helsinki and her debut in Naantali Music Festival.
“Ruut Kiiski has an inherent skill for
supporting singers and listening to their breath.”
- Hannu-Ilari Lampila, Helsingin Sanomat, 9/2014