James Anderson DePreist (November 21, 1936 – February 8, 2013) was an American conductor. DePreist was one of the first African-American conductors on the world stage. He was the Director Emeritus of Conducting and Orchestral Studies at The Juilliard School and Laureate Music Director of the Oregon Symphony at the time of his death.
In 2005, President George W. Bush presented James DePreist with the National Medal of Arts, the nation’s highest honor for artistic excellence.
Read more at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_DePreist