Spira’s conductor (2019–): George Parris
Photo: Kai Bäckström.
George Parris (b. 1993) studied Music at the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford where he also sang with some of the top collegiate choirs. He will soon graduate with a Master’s Degree in Choir Conducting at the Sibelius Academy, Helsinki, where he has been studying since 2017.
He is the founder and conductor of The Carice Singers, with whom he has made four recordings and performed widely across the UK. In Finland, he has worked with such choirs as EMO Ensemble, HOL, Murtosointu, Kaari-Ensemble, and Somnium Ensemble, and is a member of Helsinki Chamber Choir and vocal ensemble I Dodici. He has also worked with the Croatian Radio-television Choir and has observed RIAS Kammerchor along with the radio choirs in Denmark, Sweden, and Latvia.
George Parris has been the conductor and Artistic Director of Spira Ensemble since September 2019.
Spira’s conductor (2013–2019): Kari Turunen
Kari Turunen (b. 1962) studied at the University of Helsinki and the Sibelius Academy, where he studied choral conducting. He holds a doctorate in early music performance practice from the University of the Arts Helsinki.
He is the artistic director of five choirs and ensembles: the male chorus Akademiska Sångföreningen, the Kampin Laulu chamber choir, Chorus Cantorum Finlandiae, a choir of cantors of the Finnish Lutheran Church, the all-male Ensemble Petraloysio, and Spira Ensemble. He is also a member of Lumen Valo, a distinguished vocal ensemble that is one of the driving forces on the Finnish early music scene.
Dr. Turunen taught choral conducting at the Tampere University of Applied Sciences between 2001 and 2011. He is in regular demand as a teacher of choral courses, adjudicator and clinician. He is also chairman of the Finnish Choral Directors’ Association, and he was named Choral Conductor of the Year 2008 in Finland.