The African-American Conductor: James DePreist

Apr 20, 2016

The wonderful Antoine Clark is a Columbus based clarinetist, teacher and conductor. Antoine recently took some time out of a ferociously busy schedule to help me with a series of podcasts on African-American conductors.

Elsewhere on this blog, you'll find our profiles of Thomas Wilkins, Henry Lewis, and Dean Dixon. Oh! And not forgetting, Antoine is the Founder and Music Director of the McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra.

Now we discuss James DePreist. Born in Philadelphia in 1936, DePreist won the Dmitri Mitropoulos conducting competition while still a young man. He served as Leonard Bernstein's assistant at the New York Philharmonic. Over a long career, DePreist was music director of the National Symphony, the Monte Carlo Orchestra, and most notably enjoyed a long tenure with the Oregon Symphony. In 2005 he was awarded the National Medal of the arts by President George W. Bush.

James DePreist died in 2012.