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Latvija, State Choir of the Republic of Latvia

Country of origin: Latvia

About Latvija, State Choir of the Republic of Latvia

Latvija, the State Choir of the Republic of Latvia, was founded in 1942 and, with more than 70 members, is the largest professional choir in Latvia. Its repertoire contains large-form vocal music as well as a cappella compositions and a broad palette of sacred music ranging from Palestrina and Monteverdi to Messiaen and other contemporary composers, also in chamber choir constellations. The choir, whose artistic director and conductor since 1997 has been Maris Sirmais, works regularly with important musicians such as Mariss Jansons, Zubin Mehta, Neeme Järvi, Andres Mustonen, Vladimir Fedosejev, and Valerij Gergiev. The choir has concertized with symphony orchestras from Singapore, Israel, Germany, Estonia, Lithuania, and Russia. At the celebrations for the enlargement of the EU in early 2004, Latvija performed in Dublin, Berlin, Stockholm, Paris, and Tallinn. The ensemble has also appeared as a guest at the International Bodensee Festival, at the Singapore Arts Festival, and other international music events. Since 1998, the State Choir of the Republic of Latvia has organized the annual International Festival of Sacred Music and was several times awarded the highest Latvian music prize. In 2003, the choir, together with Maris Sirmais, was presented with the prize awarded by the Ministers’ Cabinet of the Republic of Latvia.