Maris Sirmais was born in 1969 in Riga. In 1992 he studied choral conducting at the Jazeps Vitols Latvian Academy of Music, receiving his Masters degree in 1996 as a conducting student of Imants Kokars. Sirmais later continued his orchestral conducting studies at the University of Music and Performing Arts. In 1990, while still a student, Sirmais founded the Kamer… Youth Choir in order to realize his creative projects; the choir has won more than 60 national and international competitions. In addition, Sirmais conducted the Dzintars Women’s Choir from 1992 to 1997; since 1997, he has been principal conductor of the State Academic Choir Latvia. Under his baton, the choir performs regularly at large concerts in Latvia and abroad, together with world-famous orchestras, musicians and conductors. 2001 saw the beginning of a collaboration with Gidon Kremer and his Kremerata Baltica. As artistic director of the annual International Sacred Music Festival in Riga, Sirmais consistently continues the tradition of this music festival of promoting young Latvian composers and performing their works. Sirmais teaches at the Riga Cathedral Choir School and is a member of several international juries. He is also principal conductor of the Latvian Song and Dance Festival and the Latvian School Youth Song and Dance Festival. Maris Sirmais, like his choirs, has been awarded the Latvian Great Music Award several times.