Dean Dixon: Negro at Home, Maestro Abroad by Rufus Jones Jr.

This is, I'm pretty sure, the first book-length biography of conductor Dean Dixon (1915-1976), the first African American to conduct the New York Philharmonic, and his story is so interesting yet largely unknown that it makes for a fascinating read.

Born and raised in New York City by immigrant parents (from Jamaica and Barbados), he started playing violin when he was three, at his mother's instigation, studying technique with a Russian teacher; by nine, he was playing on WNEW. He was also encountering racism; one prospective teacher cut off his lessons after Dean's second appearance, apparently because the building's residents didn't want a black child there.

Dixon was a good enough (if sometimes reluctant, it seems) student that he was consistently accepted into progressive, integrated schools.  Once he determined to make music his career (after his mother was persuaded not to push him into studying to be a doctor), he passed an audition with Frank Damrosch to enter the Institute of Musical Arts.