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Mayor Charlie Hales

City of Portland Mayor Charlie Hales

Phone: 503-823-4120

1221 SW 4th Avenue, Room 340, Portland, OR 97204

Conductor James DePreist dies at 76

James DePriestOne of the best-known musical talents to call Portland home has died. James DePreist, National Medal of Arts winner, died at age 76.

His manager, Jason Bagdade, said DePreist died at home Friday in Scottsdale, Ariz.., according to an article by the Associated Press’ Steven DuBois.

DePreist's wife, Ginette DePreist, said her husband had been in and out of the hospital since a massive heart attack last March, followed by open-heart surgery.

DePreist was director emeritus of The Juilliard School's conducting program in New York. He was the Oregon Symphony's music director from 1980 until 2003, transforming it from a part-time group into a full-time professional ensemble.

DePreist also led orchestras in Quebec, Monte Carlo, Tokyo and Malmo,Sweden.

He was the nephew of the celebrated contralto Marian Anderson, who died in 1993.