Friday, February 8, 2013 'Beloved former Oregon Symphony director James DePreist died Friday morning, according to the Juillard School'

James DePreist (1936-2013) is featured at

Sergio Mims alerts us to the sad news that Maestro James DePreist died this morning:

by Michael Rollins
Posted on February 8, 2013 at 8:42 AM
Updated today at 9:05 AM

PORTLAND -- Beloved former Oregon Symphony director James DePreist died Friday morning, according to the Juillard School.

At the time of his death, DePreist was Director Emeritus of Conducting and Orchestral Studies at The Juilliard School and Laureate Music Director of the Oregon Symphony.

According to his Juillard biography "he appeared with every major North American orchestra, and internationally,  he has conducted in Amsterdam, Berlin, Budapest, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Manchester, Melbourne, Montreal, Munich, Prague, Rome, Rotterdam, Seoul, Stockholm, Stuttgart, Sydney, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, Toronto and Vienna."

"His varied recorded repertoire includes a celebrated Shostakovich series with the Helsinki Philharmonic and 15 recordings with the Oregon Symphony which have helped establish that orchestra as one of America's finest," the biography reads.
Born in 1936 in Philadelphia, he studied at the Philadelphi Conservatory of Music and earned a master's degree from Penn. Portland audiences could not help but notice his frail walk, caused by gettig polio while on a tour of Thailand in 1962.
He was the nephew of contralto Marian Anderson, according to his biography. In 2005 the President of the United States presented James DePreist with the National Medal of Arts, the
 nation's highest honor for artistic excellence.
He was appointed to the Oregon Symphony conductor job in 1980. Shortly, the symphony was raised to "major" orchestra status. 

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Comment by email:
So sad. At least I was fortunate to see him conduct once a truly great performance of Dvorak's 8th symphony.  Sergio [Sergio Mims]

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