James DePreist, 76, the distinguished conductor and educator, died Friday, Feb. 9, at his home in Scottsdale, Ariz., of complications from a heart attack last spring. He defied both skin color and health problems to become a pre-eminent conductor. Maestro DePreist had a long association with the Julliard School, including, from 2004 through 2011, as a tenure as director of orchestral and conducting studies.He was a popular guest conductor as well as music director laureate of the Oregon Symphony. DePreist was one of the good guys. The music world has suffered a great loss.