DePreist, James (Anderson)(1936– ) symphony conductor; born in Philadelphia (nephew of Marian Anderson). After taking a degree at the University of Pennsylvania (1958) and completing his musical studies at the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music (1961), he served with the U.S. State Department as a specialist in American music and as a conductor in Bangkok, Thailand (1963–64). He won first prize in the Mitropoulos competition in 1964 and that year made his American debut as a conductor with the New York Philharmonic. He went on to conduct many major symphony orchestras, making his European debut with the Rotterdam Philharmonic in 1969, and enjoying special associations with the National Symphony in Washington, D.C., and L'Orchestre Symphonique de Québec. His latest position was with the Oregon Symphony (1980).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.