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.
A great article by Harvey Sachs for the New York Times commemorating what would have been Georg Solti’s 100th Birthday (please be sure to go to his website – so beautiful!). An amazing career with a strong passion for bringing musicians from around the world to perform together. A Chicago institution, the Jewish-born Hungarian maestro mused out loud that if musicians from all walks of life can perform together (as they did often under his baton), then why couldn’t world diplomats and their respective countries live in harmony as well?
There is something in the human spirit that binds us together, whether we know it or not; it’s our love for all that is beautiful! It is an enigma as why humanity can go to that shadow side of life, to a bizarre and ugly universe, and do such terrible things to each other. Long-live Sir Georg Solti!