Ernst Birss is a classical guitarist and guitar teacher based in Edmonton, Alberta. He is a first prize winner in the Northwest Guitar Competition, an annual event open to classical guitarists from Western Canada and the American Pacific Northwest. He was also a performer in the 20th annual Christopher Parkening Masterclass in Bozeman, Montana, and was one of the students chosen to play in the masterclass recital at Reynolds Hall.
In Edmonton Ernst Birss has performed on the McDougall Music Wednesdays at Noon series, the Sunday music series at Holy Trinity Anglican Church and on the Edmonton Classical Guitar Society’s main series (the last two in duo concerts with Trevor Sanders). In 2002 he was invited to give the annual "Alberta Showcase" concert for the Classical Guitar Society of Calgary, and in 2004 was featured on the Wednesdays@Winspear series in a guitar trio concert with Trevor Sanders and David Grainger Brown that was later broadcast on the CBC Radio program Our Music. Later the trio were invited guests at the Northwest Guitar Festival in Calgary and appeared on the St. Albert Chamber Music Recital Series.
In recent years Ernst has worked extensively with singer Merrill Tanner. Ernst and Merrill gave their premiere recital at Holy Trinity Anglican Church in February 2006, and have since performed for various concert series and festivals, including the Acquired Taste concert series, the Music Wednesdays at Noon series, the Arts Jasper series in Jasper, Alberta, the Water Valley Celtic Festival, and the concert series at the Shurniak Gallery in Assiniboia, Saskatchewan. In 2013 they were heard on the St. Albert Chamber Music Recital Series, and in November 2015 performed in the Edmonton Classical Guitar Society's 20th Anniversary Concert.
Ernst Birss performs frequently at weddings, receptions and other special occasions in the Edmonton area. He is also president of the Edmonton Classical Guitar Society.