Prominent musicians and educators pay tribute to DePreist in Philadelphia

Posted on: March 5, 2013

In Tuesday’s (3/5) Philadelphia Inquirer, Peter Dobrin writes, “After a career that brought him to orchestra podiums in Helsinki, Finland; Rotterdam, Netherlands; and Los Angeles, James Anderson DePreist was memorialized Monday near 19th and Fitzwater Streets in South Philadelphia at his boyhood church, steps from his onetime home. ‘Jimmy was the prince of our family,’ cousin Sandra Grymes said of DePreist, who died Feb. 8 at age 76. He lost his father at age 6, she told the gathering of about 80 friends and family members at Union Baptist Church, and was raised by women who were ‘able to make space for him to do his own thing.’ One was his aunt Marian Anderson, the celebrated contralto. … Monday’s memorial featured rotating slides of DePreist as a boy, with such artists as Leonard Bernstein and Leontyne Price … The service was interspersed with Mozart and Bruckner played by string players from the Philadelphia Orchestra and by Nicholas Stovall, principal oboist of the National Symphony Orchestra, where DePreist was once associate conductor. DePreist also made an indelible mark as an educator, a role of which Juilliard School president Joseph W. Polisi spoke, recalling memorable performances of Rachmaninoff and Mahler led by DePreist on a Juilliard orchestra tour.”

Posted March 5, 2013