‘Immaculate playing’ BBC Music Magazine
‘Virtuosic mini-concertos’ The Guardian
‘Astonishing album’ Resident-Music.com
‘Majestic harp melodies’ Musera
‘LOST is an impressively intricate affair’ Uncut
‘Ruth Wall performed some of the most extraordinary folk, baroque, tango, medieval and contemporary music I have ever heard. Alain Stivell: eat your heart out!’ Jomar de Vrind
‘What sets it apart is Ruth’s exquisite playing – the Hendrix of the harp world.’ West Briton
Scottish harpist Ruth Wall specialises in the development and performance of new music. She is regarded as one of the UK’s leading harpists – performing on lever harp, buzzing Renaissance bray harp, Gaelic wire strung harp and concert harp. Ruth performs as a soloist and as part of ensembles and bands (Goldfrapp, Fitkin, Kathryn Tickell and the Side, Will Gregory Moogs) in UK and abroad.
She recently toured to Japan, Australia, USA, Canada and throughout Europe and Scandinavia, including performances at Sydney Opera House, Monza Milan, Spiral Hall Tokyo, Queen’s Hall Edinburgh and Glastonbury main stage. She has worked with the BBC Singers, RLPO and LCO and often collaborates with musicians, artists and dancers on new commissions.
Ruth has won several prizes including the John Ireland Prize and the Laurence Davies Memorial Award. She has worked alongside several celebrated British composers such as Howard Skempton, Gavin Bryars, Laurence Crane, Gabriel Jackson and Peter Maxwell Davies, building up a repertoire of new works for the lever harp. Her first solo album The Uncommon Harp was released in December 2004.
Since 2003 Ruth has worked closely with her partner, the composer Graham Fitkin, and in 2005 toured film and music project Kaplan (based on the fictitious character in Hitchcock’s North by Northwest) in Japan and UK. In 2007 the Fitkin Wall CD Still Warm was released and toured throughout UK and Italy. The music centred on juxtaposing Ruth’s early harps with new electronics and live visuals.
She also performs, records and tours with Graham’s highly acclaimed 9 piece Fitkin Band. appearing on stage at the Royal Opera House and for the London 2012 Olympics with the LCO, as well as at European 2014 City of Culture celebrations in the Swedish city of Umea.
Ruth appears regularly on Radio and TV – appearances include BBC Radio 3 Late Junction Sessions and In Tune, Radio 4 Series ‘The Fair Maid of Perth, Jools Holland, Jonathan Ross Show, Radio 1 and 2 with Goldfrapp and FitkinWall. She features in the 2017 animated film Loving Vincent, and on Ben Wheatley’s Sightseers as well as on John Lunn’s soundtrack for the BBC series The White Queen.
In 2007-8 Ruth recorded and toured with Goldfrapp on the Seventh Tree album tour. She has recorded with award winning French pop star Nolwenn Leroy, Faroese musician Teitur, saxophonist Simon Haram, bassist Charlie Jones (Love Form), Kathryn Tickell and The Side and trumpeter Noel Langley (Edentide).
Ruth has also performed as part of the Will Gregory Moog Ensemble since 2005 and with Portishead’s Adrian Utley in a new soundtrack to accompany Dyers classic, 1928 film Joan of Arc. Performances include London South Bank, Brighton Dome, Sacrum Profanum in Krakow, Lincoln Centre New York and most recently in 2016 at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.
Other collaborators include fellow harpist Rhodri Davies (in a major John Cage retrospective at the Baltic in Gateshead), pianist Sarah Niccols, percussionist Joby Burgess and film composer Stephen Horne (London Film Festival performance of Hitchcock’s rarely seen silent film The Manxman).
In 2013 Ruth released and toured her new solo album The Three Harps of Christmas – Christmas carols for concert, bray and wire strung harps composed by Graham Fitkin. Candle-lit performances took place in over 15 stately homes and castles including Holkham Hall, Lacock Abbey, Glendurgan and Culzean Castle.
She also toured extensively with the acclaimed aerial theatre company Ockhams Razor, music composed by Fitkin for Ruth’s wire strung and lever harps. She joined Northumbrian piper Kathryn Tickell’s new band, Kathryn Tickell and the Side. The Side have recorded and performed extensively since 2013 at venues throughout the UK and abroad including Berlin Philharmonic, Luxembourg Philharmonie, Sage Gateshead, Sidmouth Folk Festival.
In 2015 FitkinWall released their new, critically acclaimed CD Lost, which they toured throughout the UK and Europe from September 2015 including a performance at TEDx London in June 2016. She also recorded and performed in a new opera by Emily Hall with Mahogany Opera as well as touring and recording with Will Gregory Moog Ensemble and Red Note Ensemble.
The long awaited Fitkin band albums Vamp and Veneer were recorded at Real World Studios in 2016, with touring taking place in 2016-7. Ruth performs on bray, concert and lever harps.
Ruth has recorded for EMI, Mercury Music, Sony BMG, GFR, Bedroom Community and Universal.