Conductors: First Again

At 16, Los Angeles-born Henry Lew is became the first Negro musician to play regularly with a major U.S. orchestra, joining the double-bass section of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. His real ambition, though, was to swap his bow for a baton. He got conducting experience in the military with the Seventh Army Symphony, and later organized the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. In 1961, he substituted for Igor Markevitch with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and within a few years he ranked as the outstanding Negro conductor in the U.S., though he had no orchestra of his own.

Last week Lewis, 35,...