In Wednesday’s (9/21) Chicago Tribune, John von Rhein writes, “His many friends and colleagues in the Chicago musical community remember Keith Conant as a superb and dedicated musician whose gentle soul shone through his performances. Conant, principal violist with the Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra, a founding member of Chicago’s Rembrandt Chamber Players and an active freelance musician and teacher in the Chicago area, died of a heart attack on Sept. 15, according to family members. He was 49. … Conant joined the Lyric orchestra in the 1987-88 season as assistant principal violist. He served as acting principal violist for two seasons, beginning in 1995-96. He was appointed the orchestra’s principal violist in 1997. He was most recently heard with the Lyric orchestra during the ‘Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park’ concert on Sept. 10, when he played the viola solo in an excerpt from Offenbach’s ‘The Tales of Hoffmann.’ That performance was heard by an estimated 15,000 in the park. … Other orchestral affiliations included positions with the Seattle Symphony, American Philharmonic Orchestra, New York Youth Symphony and Tanglewood Young Artists Orchestra. He also appeared as soloist with many orchestras and chamber ensembles.”

Posted September 21, 2011