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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.
In April 1996 in Oslo, Jansons nearly died while conducting the final pages of Puccini's La bohème, after a heart attack. He recuperated in Switzerland. Later, surgeons in Pittsburgh fitted a defibrillator in his chest to give his heart an electric jolt if it fails.
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