Conductor Mariss Jansons dies at 76; led top orchestras

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Mariss Jansons

File—Picture taken Jan.1, 2012 shows Latvian conductor Mariss Jansons conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra during the traditional New Year’s Concert at Vienna’s Musikverein. Jansons died 76 years old. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Latvian-born conductor Mariss Jansons, who led top classical ensembles including the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, has died in Russia. He was 76.

Jansons’ death in St. Petersburg was confirmed by the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, where he was chief conductor. Jansons had canceled concerts this summer because of health reasons, the dpa news agency reported.

Born in German-occupied Riga in 1943 in what is now independent Latvia as the son of a prominent conductor, Jansons grew up in the Soviet Union and studied at what was then the Leningrad Conservatory. He was chief conductor in Pittsburgh from 1997 to 2004, regularly appeared at the Salzburg Festival and in 2006 and 2012 conducted the Vienna Philharmonic New Year’s Concert broadcast around the world.

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