The Finnish soprano, Riitta Annikki Pietarinen (Virintie), studied at Viipuri Music Institute for four years, first with Lea Piltin, then with Mirjam Helinin. In the autumn of 1958 she enrolled at the Sibelius-Akatemian (Sibelius Academy) in Helsinki, where she was a student of Antti Koskinen, and obtained a singing diploma. Here, he also participated in the opera studio directed by Professor Matti Lehtinen. She also studied with Ferdinand Grossmann in Vienna, Luigi Ricci in Rome, and with the German pedagogue Clemens Kaiser-Breme. In 1959 Riitta Pietarinen and Irma Urrila shared the first prize at the Nordic Singing Competition organised by the radio.
Riitta Pietarinen made her debut at the Sibelius Academy in a concert series in 1965 (according to Operissimo she made her stage debut in 1965 at the National Opera of Helsinki as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte). In autumn 1967 she became a soloist member at the Kansallisoopperassa (National Opera) in Helsinki, making her debut role in October 1967 as Liu in Puccini's opera Turandot. During her career at this opera house she sang in over a thousand performances. She is remembered especially for her lyric roles in Mozart operas and as Gilda in Verdi's Rigoletto, which she had sang both in Italian and Finnish. Rosina in Rossini's The Barber of Seville was another successful role, as well as Micaela in Carmen and Scokolain Veren wedding-opera Palvelustyttö. In 1973 she participated in the premiere of the opera Apollo und Marsyas by Einojuhani Rautavaara.
Riitta Pietarinen has performed successfully at the National Operas of Sofia, Budapest and Bucharest and at the Festival in the Palace Theatre of Drottningholm. In 1970 she appeared at the Szeged Music festival (Hungary) as Nedda in Leoncavallo's opera Pagliacci under the baton of András Miko. In 1986 she sang in Helsinki in an acclaimed staging of the Finnish opera Juha by Aarre Merikanto; in 1987 she appeared again at the Edinburgh Festival, where she sang Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto. On Finnish television, she was seen and heard as Nedda in a performance of Pagliacci by Leoncavallo. She gave concerts and worked in Helsinki as teacher. She retired from active singing in the spring of 1990.
Recordings on Finnish labels (Finnlevy).