Jury of the Chorus Review 2017
Chairman Heikki Liimola (FI).
Haruko Kuwabara (JP)
Scott Leithead (CA)
Karmina Šilec (SI)
Kari Turunen (FI)
Heikki Liimola has created an extensive and distinguished career as a choir conductor, having conducted the Tampere Philharmonic Choir and the Savonlinna Opera Festival Choir, among others. He was an assistant conductor and a singer with the Finnish Radio Chamber Choir. Liimola has conducted the chorus of the Tampere Opera since 1990 and the Harju Chamber Choir (formerly the Harju Youth Choir) since 1977. In summer 2005, he was invited to become the artistic director of the Klemetti Institute Chamber Choir. Heikki Liimola is a lecturer in choir conducting at the Sibelius Academy and also a composer of solo songs, minor instrumental works and numerous choral works. He was Artistic Director of the Tampere Vocal Music Festival from 1989 to 2005.
Haruko Kuwabara studied at the International Christian University in Tokyo and at the Liszt Music Academy in Budapest on a Hungarian Government Scholarship. She also studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and has been based in the UK for 24 years. She returns to Japan every month as the Music Director of the Odawara Children’s Choir and the Mulberry Choir. She is a member of the Japan Choral Association’s International Committee and has sat on the juries of many international choir competitions.
Scott Leithead is Artistic Director of Canada's Kokopelli Choir Association and TIME Association. He has conducted provincial and state honour choirs on 23 occasions and has presented workshops across the globe. Notable appearances include: conducting the 2013,15&16 Ellison Canadian Honour Choir; conducting the 2016 ACDA NW Youth Choir in Seattle. He has adjudicated national and international festivals like the Kathaumixw Festival (2014&16). Kokopelli was the winner of both the 2015 CBC National Competition for Canadian Amateur Choirs and the 2015&16 Canadian National Competition.
Karmina Šilec is artistic director of Carmina Slovenica and Choregie – New Music Theatre; she is a conductor, stage director, set designer and choreographer. She has brought freshness and originality to the world of vocal music and theatre. Her projects are provocative and daring; her ideas break taboos both social and musical. She has received more than 20 international awards at choir competitions, the prestigious ITI - Music Theatre Now award in the category Music beyond Opera, the Golden Mask theatre award and the International Robert Edler Prize for Choral Music for her exceptional contribution to the world choir movement.
Kari Turunen holds a M.Mus. degree from the Sibelius Academy and a D.Mus. degree from the University of the Arts Helsinki. He is widely engaged in the field of choral music, being a conductor, instructor, organiser and writer. He currently conducts four choirs: the Helsinki Academic Male Choir, the Kampin Laulu chamber choir, the Chorus Cantorum Finlandiae and the Spira Ensemble. He is also a founding member of the vocal ensemble Lumen Valo (1993) and leader of the all-male Ensemble Petraloysio specialising in Renaissance music.