American symphony conductor James DePreist, best kinown to Nodame Cantabile fans as the conductor of the Roux-Marlet orchestra has passed away after complications from a previous heart attack suffered in early 2012. Outside of his likeness being featured in the manga and anime, DePreist also conducted the orchestra for both the live-action and anime adaptation. He was 76 years old.
The conductor had a long and distinguished career as an orchestra conductor across the world with a music director position in Portland Oregon and a permanent position in Tokyo, Japan heading up the Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra, which led to him being featured in the Nodame Cantabile manga, as the author was a fan of his work as a conductor.
NPR's Deceptive Cadence classical music blog features an in-depth rememberance of DePreist, including his time as a jazz musician before transitioning to classical music as well as his struggle with polio, which left his legs paralyzed.