Ruth Wall

  • Artist

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) based in UK.

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 new 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. In 2012 Ruth performed with Fitkin Band on stage at the Royal Opera House and for the London 2012 Olympics with the LCO. Recently the band performed 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 recently recorded the title music on Ben Wheatley’s new film Sightseers which premiered in Cannes and features in 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 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 took place in London South Bank, Brighton Dome, Sage Gateshead, Krakow and Lincoln Centre New York. 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 toured a new Fitkin score with the acclaimed aerial theatre company Ockhams Razor and joined Northumbrian piper Kathryn Tickell’s new band, Kathryn Tickell and the Side. They have performed extensively since then and released their first album last year.

In 2013 Ruth released and toured her new solo album The Three Harps of Christmas for her three harps – arrangements of carols for her three harps by Graham Fitkin. Performances took place in over 15 stately homes and castles including Holkham Hall and Culzean Castle.

In 2015 she toured to the Berlin Philharmonic, Luxembourg Philharmonie, Denmark and the UK with Kathryn Tickell and The Side. She recorded and performs in a new opera by Emily Hall with Mahogany Opera as well as touring and recording with Will Gregory Moog Ensemble.

In November 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.

In 2016 they will record and release the long awaited for first Fitkin Band album at Real World Studios.

Ruth has recorded for EMI, Mercury Music, Sony BMG, GFR, Bedroom Community and Universal.


Sacconi Quartet and Ruth Wall, harp


Ruth Wall, harp


Fitkin Band: Disco

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