Met orchestra loses viola player, 60, to Covid-19

Violist Vince Lionti was a member of the Metropolitan Opera orchestra from 1987.

His death has been reported online by devastated colleagues.

He would have been 61 this week.

Metropolitan Opera Musicians say:

We are deeply saddened to hear about the passing of one of our own. MET Orchestra Musician Vincent Lionti passed away due to complications related to Covid-19. ‘Vinnie’ joined the viola section of the MET Orchestra in 1987 and enjoyed a diverse career as a conductor, educator, and program director as well. We offer our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.

Read Vinnie’s full bio here:

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  • Barry Guerrero says:

    I’m so sorry to hear of this.

  • Lisa Pike says:

    Vincent was my dear friend. For all of us he was a cherished colleague and exceptional human being. A most profound loss for all whose lives he touched. We are better for having known him.

  • Shlomo Tintpulver says:

    So sad to hear! Condolences to the family and the Orchestra.

  • Fabio Luisi says:

    Such tragic news….. One of the friendliest musicians I knew, committed and serious…. RIP Vince, you will be missed!

  • Bruce says:

    How awful. Condolences to his family and many friends.

  • Harry Marenstein says:

    I played under his baton several times. You couldn’t meet a nicer, more gracious person. My deepest condolences to his family and colleagues.

  • NYMike says:

    His father Vic Lionti was also an educator and principal viola of Westchester County Symphony’s summer series of “Music on the Hudson.”

  • Neal Cary says:

    This is such a sad loss! I went to Juilliard with Vincent, and played in the All-Star Orchestra with him. I always enjoyed our friendly and unpretentious conversations. He was a terrific person and musician, and I’ll miss him.

  • John Holmes says:

    Some lovely Mozart playing here.


  • A mensch and a complete musician, incredibly encouraging to me during my NYC freelance years. This shouldn’t have happened, just devastating. I remember all the times we read chamber music; at the time he was living in a small studio apartment near Lincoln Center, and even his kitchen cabinets were stuffed with scores and parts. We’d read through a Beethoven quartet, and he was so into it: “How lucky we are to have this!” he’d exclaim at the end. And he was right. And that wonderfully positive spirit touched so many: his family, friends, colleagues, students. We’ll miss you, Vinnie.

  • Rafael Enrique Irizarry says:

    Mr. Lionti and I were Fellows at the University of South Carolina’s Conductor’s Institute in the 1990s. He was a top of the line musician, a splendid colleague. Saw him in the pit at the Met several times afterwards. We were both the same age; that is hard. I will never forget him.

  • Gaffney Feskoe says:

    Just terrible news.

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