Keith Abbott Conant, the principal violist of the Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra has died of a heart attack at the age of 49. He had been a member of the orchestra since 1987, and its principal violist since 1997.

Born in Rockville Centre, New York, Conant studied viola at the Juilliard School with Paul Doktor, and at the Aspen Music Festival with Karen Tuttle. From 1984 to 1986 he was a member of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. He was a founding member of the Rembrandt Chamber Players and taught viola privately and at Valparaiso University.