Kari Turunen, Artistic Director

Vancouver Chamber Choir


Kari Turunen is the new Artistic Director of the Vancouver Chamber Choir and the former artistic director of the male chorus Akademiska Sångföreningen, Kampin Laulu chamber choir, the choir of the cantors of the Finnish Lutheran Church, Chorus Cantorum Finlandiae, the all-male Ensemble Petraloysio and the Spira Ensemble. He has won numerous prizes at national and international festivals with his groups. He was named choral conductor of the year in Finland in 2008.

Dr. Turunen was educated at the University of Helsinki and the Sibelius Academy. He has a Master’s degree in choral conducting and a Doctorate in early music performance practice from the University of the Arts, Helsinki. He tries to balance scholarly activities with his artistic work and firmly believes that scholarship and performance can greatly benefit each other.

He is a sought-after guest conductor, adjudicator, clinician and teacher of choral conducting, both in Finland and abroad. He has also acted as the chairman of the Finnish Choral Directors’ Association from the mid ‘90s until 2017 and is the artistic director of Aurore, an annual Renaissance music festival in Helsinki.

Before becoming a full-time conductor, Dr. Turunen taught choral conducting and was the head of choral activities at the School of Music of the Polytechnic University of Tampere from 2001 to 2011. He is also a founding member of Lumen Valo, a professional vocal ensemble of eight voices. Lumen Valo has been a driving force on the early music scene in Finland since its conception in 1993 and has made a name for itself in almost 250 concerts around Finland and Europe. The group has recorded nine CDs, all of them critically acclaimed for their fresh programming and quality of singing.

An ageing, but still enthusiastic sportsman, he devotes time especially to playing cricket. A survivor of several marathons, he has also played cricket for his country, captaining the Finnish national team in 2003–2004. His passions outside family, work and sports include reading fiction, sweating on Sudoku puzzles, traveling, walks with his Parson-Russel terrier and creative procrastination.