State Choir Latvija
Māris Sirmais is a name well known in the world of choral music – he is also an active supporter and developer of Latvian choral culture, a charismatic conductor able to inspire thousands of amateur choristers at the Song Festival as well as professional musicians. Sirmais is generating ideas non-stop – usually grand projects are the result. He is also an ardent Latvian patriot of wide international scope when it comes to his work.
Artistic Director of the State Choir Latvija since 1997, Māris Sirmais has also reared one of the most splendid symbols of the Latvian choral culture, the Youth Choir Kamēr… he conducted since its foundation in 1990 to 2012. Head of the Choir Conducting Department at the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music, Sirmais is also a jury member of international contests in choir singing and conducting. A recipient of the Order of the Three Stars, the Honorary Member of the Latvian Academy of Sciences, Sirmais has received many titles and awards for his achievement in culture and his contribution in making Latvia known throughout the world. Māris Sirmais has appeared with the State Choir Latvija and choir Kamēr… in many prestigious European festivals, where he also has given master-classes and workshops.
Māris Sirmais obtained a Bachelor’s degree in conducting from Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music, later pursued studies in orchestra conducting at College of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, Austria. He has collaborated with such acclaimed soloists as Maxim Rysanov, Kristīne Blaumane, Egils Siliņš, Aleksandrs Antoņenko, Julius Berger, Gidon Kremer, Nicolas Altstaedt, Douglas Webster, Inese Galante and others. He has regular performances with Latvian National Opera Orchestra, Liepaja Symphony Orchestra, State chamber orchestra Sinfonietta Rīga, chamber orchestra Kremerata Baltica, Moscow chamber orchestra Musica Viva, Umeå Symphony Orchestra and string orchestra Helsinki Strings.