LATVIAN STATE CHOIR
The Latvian State Choir was founded in 1942 and was given its present title in 1947. The founder and first conductor of the choir was Jānis Ozoliņ, followed by Jānis Dūmiņ and Daumants Gailis. In 1969 the leadership of the choir was taken over by Imants Cepītis who together with Ausma Derkēvica worked with the choir for almost a quarter of a century. Since 1997 the Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the choir has been Maris Sirmāis. The choir's repertoire encompasses large-scale compositions, oratorios, cantatas, Masses, Requiems, symphonies, concert performances of operas, a broad a cappella programme, compositions for chorus and organ, and music from the early Renaissance to the present day. The choir has received the Latvian Grand Music Award three times (1998, 2000, 2002), and in 2003 was given the Award of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia. The choir has collaborated with leading symphony orchestras in Singapore, Israel, Germany, Moscow, St Petersburg, Lithuania and Estonia, with appearances at international festivals under the most distinguished conductors.