The State Choir Latvija is one of the tallest lighthouses in the Latvian cultural panorama; its musical radiance complete with the warmest, refined and perfect instrumentation of the vocal culture and the specific sound of Latvian choral tradition is a miracle known the world over – the largest professional choir of the Baltic States is regularly wanted on the concert programmes of the world’s most prominent conductors and orchestras. Since 1997 Māris Sirmais is Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the choir, and Māris Ošlejs is its Director. In 2017 the State Choir Latvija is going to celebrate its 75th anniversary.
The musical intelligence and vocal skill of the 50 choristers make Latvija a universal instrument capable of depicting subtle a capella paintings as well as conjuring up grand vocal symphonies accompanied by a triple orchestra. Choir Latvija has collaborated with such world-renown symphony orchestrasas Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Bavarian Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Gustav Mahler Chamber Orchestra and others. It has performed with such outstanding conductors as Mariss Jansons, Andris Nelsons, Naeme Järvi, Pavo Järvi, Vladimir Ashkenazy, David Zinman, Valery Gergiev, Zubin Mehta, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Simone Young, Tõnu Kaljuste, Andres Mustonen and others. The cooperation with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam and its conductor Mariss Jansons on the world tour dedicated to the 125th anniversary of the orchestra ranks among the highest achievements of the choir.
This is a label internationally acclaimed and an academic value as well; the choir is open to innovative projects ranging from the cooperation with Sigur Rós and Kristjan Järvi’s electro-acoustic group Absolute Ensemble, to performanceof Joe Zawinul’s jazz compositions and recordings of the music for computer games and films, and to performances of concert operas and large-scale vocal and instrumental opuses.
MOST SIGNIFICANT CONCERTS AND RECORDS OF RECENT YEARS
June 2015 – performance of Des Jona Sendung by Rudolf Tobias at the Leipzig Gewandhaus with MDR Symphony Orchestra, conductor Neeme Jarvi.
May 2015 – debut in Theatre des Champs-Elysees, Paris. Performing Requiem by G. Verdi. Conductor Andris Poga. (Concert was a part of the public diplomacy and culture programme of the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union)
April 2015 – concerts of the Baltic choral music, conducted by Māris Sirmais at the Lincoln Centre and Baryshnikov Arts Centre in New York (concerts were part of the public diplomacy and culture programme of the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union)
July 2014 – performance of Mahler’s 2nd Symphony with Philharmonic Orchestra of Israel and maestro Zubin Mehta at Concert Hall MEGARON, Athens, Greece.
November 2013 – performance of Mahler’s 2nd Symphony with Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (part of ROC 125th anniversary world tour) and Mariss Jansons at St. Petersburg Philharmony Great Hall and P. Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow.
June 2013 – debut with Lucerne Symphony Orchestra and its Chief Conductor James Gaffigan, performing “Bells” by Sergey Rachmaninov.
January 2013 – Hyperion Records (UK) releases a CD with choral music by Gabriel Jackson A Ship with Unfurled Sails. State ChoirLatvija, conductor Māris Sirmais.
August 2012 – concert at Lucerne Festival, performing St. John’s Passion and John’s Easter by Sofia Gubaidulina, composer herself attending the event.
October 2011 – debut with Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Munich, performing Mahler’s 8th Symphony, conductor Mariss Jansons
March 2011 – debut with Amesterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra, performing Mahler’s Symphony Nr. 8 under guidance of Mariss Jansons.