Carl Rütti (*1949) grew up in Zug, Switzerland. After graduating from the monastery school in Engelberg, he studied music at the Zurich Conservatory, graduating with a soloist's diploma in piano and organ.
When studying in London with Kendall Taylor (piano) and Richard Latham (organ) in 1976, he became particularly fascinated by English choral singing, which inspired him to write several works for choir a cappella. A recording of his ten-part Rilke motets by the BBC Singers and their broadcast on the BBC in 1982 launched his career as a composer.
He composed a number of predominantly religious choral works: a Requiem commissioned by the London Bach Choir in 2007, the 40-part motet Veni Creator Spiritus, a Magnificat, a Stabat Mater, and Alpha et Omega premiered by the BBC Symphony Chorus at the 1999 BBC PROMS, and collaborated with many choirs, also in the U.S., such as San Francisco Symphony Chorus, St. Louis Chamber Chorus, Mon Choeur Indianapolis, and the Choir of St. Francis in the Fields (Louisville, Kentucky) which gave the U.S. premiere of his Requiem in 2009.
His compositions also include the Christmas carol I wonder as I wander, which has been performed many times by the Choir of King’s College Cambridge in their Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols and broadcast all over the world.
The fact that Sir Stephen Cleobury even commissioned him in 2014 to write the annual new carol (De Virgine Maria) for the festival was a huge honor for Rütti as a non-English composer.
In addition to composing for choirs, Carl Rütti also wrote an enormous number of instrumental works, such as three organ concertos, many works for solo organ and chamber music, Montreux Wind Dances (for wind orchestra), Book of Hours for solo piano, a concerto for three pianos and orchestra (premiered by Carl Rütti and his two sons), a concerto for alphorn and strings and the oratorio Mysterium Montis for six alphorns, four soloists and choir.
In 2015 Carl Rütti was awarded the Orlando-di-Lasso-Medal.
Rütti has been the organist at St. Peter and Paul’s church in Oberägeri/Zug for more than 40 years.