Monday, February 22, 2010

Poetry Foundation's 39-minute Interview with James DePreist Blends Music & Poetry

[This Precipice Garden; Poems by James DePreist with an afterword by William Stafford; University of Portland Press; Portland, Oregon (1990). Fanfare Magazine, November-December 1995]

James DePreist has published two volumes of poetry, The Distant Siren (1989), with a foreword by Maya Angelou; and This Precipice Garden (1990). The Poetry Foundation presents a 39-minute audio program in which comments on poetry are interspersed with several very attractive excerpts of music performed at New York's Lincoln Center by the Juilliard Orchestra under the direction of Maestro James DePreist:
Conductor and Poet
James DePreist was a on a State Department visit to Thailand when he decided that music—one of the great passions of his life—would become his career. DePreist went on to conduct many of the major orchestras in the United States and the world, but in the last few years, he has discovered another great passion: writing poetry. Listen to his interview about the confluence of music and poetry.”

The African American conductor James DePreist is the nephew of the great singer Marian Anderson. His biography at says: “Widely esteemed as one of America's finest conductors, James DePreist is Director of Conducting and Orchestral Studies at The Juilliard School and Laureate Music Director of the Oregon Symphony. He served as Permanent Conductor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra from 2005 until 2008.”

During his 23-year tenure as Conductor of the Oregon Symphony, James DePreist raised the profile of the orchestra dramatically. He has over 50 recordings to his credit. Maestro DePreist is scheduled to conduct the Philadelphia Orchestra in the opening work of the Marian Anderson Award Gala on April 6, 2010. [James DePreist is profiled at]

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