The State Choir LATVIJA is one of Europe’s most well-known choirs, invited to collaborate with world-class conductors and orchestras, and requested at prestigious concert halls and festivals. The singers’ musical intelligence and skill makes this a musical unit that feels as at home in delicate a cappella choral music as in large-format performances with triple orchestra. Since 1997, the Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the choir is Māris Sirmais, and the Executive Director is Māris Ošlejs.
The State Choir LATVIJA is a regular guest at one of the world’s most important concert halls: the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg. The choir has performed the second and third symphonies of Gustav Mahler and György Ligeti’s Requiem alongside the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra and conductor Kent Nagano and gave a solo performance in 2019 alongside organist Iveta Apkalna.
In 2020, the choir once again returned to the famous Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam to perform Igor Stravinsky’s opera-oratorio Oedipus Rex alongside the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. In 2019, the choir performed Ludwig van Beethoven’s Missa solemnis at Barcelona’s Palau de la Musica, Madrid’s National Music Auditorium and the Auditorio de Zaragoza under conductor Gianandrea Noseda. Similarly significant was the choir’s participation at Germany’s Ruhrtriennale, one of the world’s most ambitious and prestigious cross-genre festivals, where they sang Ligeti’s Requiem as part of a performance entitled Evolution.
The world’s leading classical music magazine, Gramophone, included the State Choir LATVIJA’s recording, Sempiternam: Choral Music by Rhona Clarke, in its May 2022 Editor’s Choice. Prominent music publication BBC Music Magazine said of the choir’s album Pēteris Vasks: Lūgšana/Prayer: “The State Choir LATVIJA’s sound is both passionate and refined.” Fragments of the album Aeternum, which features new works commissioned by Latvian composers, were broadcasted on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune programme.
2022 is the year of the choir’s 80th anniversary. The State Choir LATVIJA began its anniversary season with a production of EJ NU EJ, Laura Jēkabsone’s chamber opera for children, in collaboration with Director Reinis Suhanovs, choreographer Elīna Gediņa and costume designer Kristīne Pasternaka. The chamber opera has already captured the hearts of children and the public and will continue to tour Latvia in 2023.
The State Choir LATVIJA is an internationally in-demand, stable and academic institution which has, during its years of operation, performed in the most prestigious concert halls and collaborated with the best conductors, orchestras and film and classical music recording companies worldwide.