Kari Turunen has been the Artistic Director of the professional Vancouver Chamber Choir since the beginning of the 2019/20 season. Before moving to Vancouver, he played a major role in choral music in Finland as a conductor, teacher of conducting, singer, clinician, administrator, adjudicator and lecturer. Concert tours and teacher, clinician and adjudicator assignments regularly took him around Europe and Asia. His choirs and ensembles won numerous prizes both in Finland and abroad.
Kari Turunen was educated at the University of Helsinki and the Sibelius Academy where he studied choral conducting (MA). He holds a doctorate in early music performance practice from the University of the Arts, Helsinki. In addition to his artistic activities, Kari Turunen has been active in many festivals, of late, mainly as an Artistic Director. He was the Artistic Director of the annual Aurore Renaissance Festival in Helsinki 2015–2020 and is the Artistic Director of the Finnish-Swedish Song Celebration in June 2022 and the Tampere Vocal Music Festival in 2023. He even has a shady past in administration and served as chair of the Finnish Choral Directors’ Association (FCDA) for almost 20 years and was the Executive Director of a national choral organization for six years in his youth. He now lives in Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada).