Vancouver Chamber Choir
Friday, March 15, 2024, 7:30 p.m.
Matsqui Centennial Auditorium
32315 South Fraser Way, Abbotsford BC
Artistic Director Kari Turunen began leading the Vancouver Chamber Choir – one of Canada’s premier professional choral ensembles – in September 2019, its 49th concert season.
Jon Washburn founded the choir in 1971 and it has become an amazing success story, ranking with the handful of North America’s best professional choruses and noted for its diverse repertoire and performing excellence. The choir has presented concerts at home in Vancouver and on tour across Canada. International excursions have taken them to the USA, Mexico, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Finland, France, Germany, the Czech Republic, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Ukraine.
Honoured with the Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence by Chorus America, the choir has performed countless concerts and broadcasts, released 36 recordings and received numerous awards. Foremost supporters of Canadian music, they are responsible for commissions and premieres of nearly 400 choral works by 150 composers and arrangers, most of whom are Canadian. Over the years the choir has sung over 4,000 performances of works by Canadian composers, in addition to their extensive international repertoire.
The choir’s award-winning educational programs include the Conductors’ Symposium for advanced choral conductors, Interplay interactive workshops for choral composers, Focus professional development program for student singers, OnSite visitations for school choirs, the biennial Young Composers’ Competition, and many on-tour workshops and residencies.
Kari Turunen, Artistic Director
Kari Turunen was appointed Artistic Director of the Vancouver Chamber Choir — one of Canada’s premier professional choral ensembles — in 2019, its 49th concert season. He is a versatile performer and continues to play an important role in the choral music scene in his native Finland as an artistic director, educator and administrator. He has toured extensively across Europe and Asia as a conductor, performer, clinician and adjudicator.
Dr. Turunen has been awarded numerous international prizes with the choral ensembles he has directed: Akademiska Damkören Lyran, Akademiska Sångföreningen, Kampin Laulu Chamber Choir, Chorus Cantorum Finlandiae, Spira Ensemble and the professional early music ensembles Ensemble Petraloysio and I Dodici, with which he continues to work. He was a founding member of Lumen Valo and appeared with them in over 250 concerts and nine critically acclaimed recordings. In 2008, he was named Finnish Choral Conductor of the Year and is the recipient of over 20 grants from Finnish and Finnish-Swedish Cultural Foundations.
In addition to his artistic activities, Dr. Turunen has been active in festival administration. He is the Artistic Director of the 2022 Finnish-Swedish Song Celebration and the 2023 Tampere Vocal Music Festival and was the Artistic Director of the Aurore Renaissance Festival in Helsinki from 2015-2020. He was also Chair of the Finnish Choral Directors’ Association (FCDA) from 1997-2018.
Kari Turunen holds a doctorate in early music performance practice from the University of the Arts, Helsinki, and an MA in choral conducting from the Sibelius Academy. He lives in Vancouver with his wife, Anna.