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Born in hiding during World War II, the Latvian Mariss Jansons is one of today's most respected and in-demand conductors.
Mariss Jansons was born while his mother - the singer Iraida Jansons, who was Jewish - was in hiding in Riga, Latvia, after being smuggled out of the Riga Ghetto. As a child, Jansons first studied violin with his father, the conductor Arvīds Jansons who was chosen by Yevgeny Mravinsky to be his assistant at the Leningrad Philharmonic. When his family joined him in 1956, young Mariss entered the Leningrad Conservatory.
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