Obituary: Metropolitan Opera Orchestra Member Vincent Lionti Dies of COVID-19

By Francisco Salazar

The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra has announced that member violist Vincent Lionti has died of COVID-19.

The orchestra announced the news via social media stating, “We are deeply saddened to hear about the passing of one of our own. Vincent Lionti passed away due to complications related to Covid-19. ‘Vinnie’ joined the viola section of the MET Orchestra in 1987. We offer our condolences to his family & friends. We’ll miss you, Vinnie.”

Lionti joined the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra on September 1, 1987 after having played with the New York Philharmonic from 1981-1983. He was also a member of the Detriot Symphony from 1983-1987.

During his time in Detroit, Lionti was a faculty member of the Macomb Community College, a member of the Lyric Chamber Players, the Renaissance City Chamber Players and a founding member of the Ventura String Quartet.

The accomplished musician also served as guest Principal Viola for the Indianapolis, New Jersey, American Symphony Orchestras, and the Santa Fe Opera.

Lionti served as conductor at the Greater Westchester Youth Orchestras Association, the Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing, the Downtown Sinfonietta of White Plains and of the Merrick Symphony Orchestra. He conducted the NYU Steinhardt School Symphony Orchestra and led numerous All-State student orchestras.

He held a Bachelors and Masters degrees from The Juilliard School, where he was a teaching assistant and Principal Viola of the Juilliard Orchestra.

Lionti leaves his wife Kristin and son, Nicholas Lionti, who appeared onstage as an extra on the Met stage in “Nixon in China” and “Macbeth.”