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The Latvian State Academic Choir was founded in 1942; since 1997, Māris Sirmais, who was born in 1969, has served as its director. The Choir’s repertoire consists of sacred and symphonic choral works and concert opera performances, as well as such crossover projects as the soundtrack to Tom Tykwer’s film Perfume, which they performed together with the Berlin Philharmonic and Simon Rattle. In the field of contemporary music, the Latvian Choir most recently gave the world premieres of Lera Auerbach’s Russian Requiem at the Bremen Music Festival and Arvo Pärt’s Deer’s Cry at the Baltic Voices Festival in Ireland. The Choir regularly collaborates with major orchestras and with such conductors as Mariss Jansons; Neeme, Paavo, and Kristjan Järvi; Valery Gergiev; Zubin Mehta; Vladimir Fedosseyev; and Jeffrey Tate. Since 1998 the Latvian Choir has run the Sacred Music Festival in Riga. The Choir has been honored three times with the Great Latvian Culture Prize and received the Cultural Committee Prize in 2007.