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Concert cycles

Choir "Kamer"


Maris Sirmais
artist is represented by Herman Braun FoundationIlze Urbane
Choir "Kamer"

The youth choir “Kamēr...” (“While...”) was founded in the autumn of 1990, on the initiative of its present art director and chief conductor Māris Sirmais. Being a comparatively young choir, “Kamēr...”, based at Riga State Grammar School No.1, was soon recognized as one among the most brilliant choirs in Latvia and Europe. Since 1997, Ainārs Rubiķis has been working as “Kamēr…” 's second conductor. All the vocalists are trained by Aina Bajāre and Ansis Sauka.

It is crucial for “Kamēr...” to perform both in Latvia and abroad. By performing Latvian and world music and participating in state occasions and elsewhere, the choir plays an active role in public life.

According to the basic rules of gradual professional development, every concert season several programmes are prepared comprising music of various ages and styles from the Renaissance pieces to the technically difficult modern compositions. The intensive work culminates in the choir's seasonal gala nights, and they seem to show that “Kamēr...” still has a great potential to develop. A significant place has always been allotted to the local original compositions and arrangements of Latvian folksongs, as well as to contemporary foreign music (in many cases presenting first performances of those pieces in Latvia). The choir participates in large-scale performances regularly. Together with local musicians significant projects have been completed and presented to the public: motets by J.S. Bach, Mass in C by W.A. Mozart, Gloria by F. Poulenc, Requiem by G. Fauré, Gloria by A. Vivaldi, Gloria by J. Rutter, The Heavenly Company by B. Britten, Missa brevis and Chichester Psalms by L. Bernstein. The repertoire includes compositions of high artistic and technical complexity, such as the cantata Figure humaine by F. Poulenc, Five Flower Songs by B. Britten, Mass for Two Mixed Choirs by F. Martin or The Pushkin Wreath by G. Sviridov, as well as large-scale a cappella pieces by other composers. The choir “Kamēr...” has won recognition in international contests and has been more than once acknowledged as an excellent interpreter of contemporary Latvian and world music (P. Vasks, A. Maskats, J. Vaivods, P. Plakidis, T. Ķeniņš, I. Ramiņš, J. Tamulionis, J. Busto, B. Bartok, J. Tavener, S.D. Sandström, H.M. Gorecky and others). In 2000, in cooperation with broadcasting companies from Hessen (Germany) and Madrid (Spain), a project named Hörspiel Draft was carried out based on electronic transformation of sound and special audio effects playing with single voices and choral performance. The choir and its conductor Māris Sirmais have been awarded the Great Music Prize of Latvia 1999 for a concert repertoire of high artistic level and repeated success in international choral contests.

To this day, “Kamēr...” has won 55 prizes in 36 choral contests in Latvia and abroad. Significant awards have helped the choir to attract publicity: prizes in the 34th and 35th international choral contests C.A. Seghizzi (Gorizia, Italy), the international European Grand Prix contest (Debrecen, Hungary; Tolosa, Spain), contests in Torrevieja, Spain, and Neuchâtel, Switzerland, the international choral contest Let the Peoples Sing organised by the European Broadcasting Union, the P.E.A.C.E. award in the 45th Cork International Choral Festival (Ireland), choral contests in Latvia - Rīgas Zīle (1992, 1994, 1996) and the international chamber choirs contest Jūrmala'96. Maybe the highest achievements have been the championship among the mixed choirs and the honourable Grand Prix won in the choral contest of the 22nd and 23d All-Latvian Song Festival in fierce competition with 308 rivals from all over Latvia, and the championship and Grand Prix in the choral contest of the Song Festival dedicated to the 800th anniversary of Riga.

The last 4 years have been of particular importance. From the choral contest Harmonie'99 (Lindenholzhausen, Germany) where more than 200 choirs participated in various categories, “Kamēr...” emerged as a triple winner and also won the main prize - the Helmut Kohl Special Award. In 1999, “Kamēr...” surpassed all the rivals in the contest of the world's best chamber choirs in Marktoberdorf, Germany, and was acknowledged as an excellent choir on the international stage. In the same year, the choir won the highest award for the performance of polyphonic music in the international choral contest in Spittal an der Drau, Austria. In 2000, the choir took part in the international choral contest Hora Cantavi 2000 (Suwalki, Poland) and won all the possible awards. In 2001, “Kamēr...” was acknowledged as the best performer of polyphonic and folk music in the 33th International Choral Music Contest (Tolosa, Spain) and also won the Grand Prix. The judges awarded the choir the prize for the best interpretation of the compulsory composition and of a piece of Basque music. This victory opened up for “Kamēr...” the opportunity to participate in the European Grand Prix 2002 contest in Arezzo, Italy.

In June 2003, “Kamēr...” took part in the 32nd “Florilège Vocal de Tours” choir contest

(France) where it was awarded the Grand Prix along with several other prizes: it was acknowledged to have been the best performer in the mixed choirs category, obtained the second prize in the free programme category and won the Special Prize awarded by the Minister of Culture of France. In July 2003, “Kamēr...” was acknowledged the as best among the groups participating in the choral contest at the 23nd All-Latvian Song Festival and was awarded the title of Latvia's best choir.

Concert takes place:

Date, time, place


Ticket prices

14.12.2003  18:00
Riga St. John church (Sv.Jāņa baznīca)

Choir "Kamer"


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