April 6, 1990 – Oct. 17, 2020
As a toddler, Angelo Domenic Di Loreto of East Amherst was already memorizing songs and singing. He drummed out rhythms on an upturned Legos bucket, then played a toy keyboard. At age 8, he received a classical percussion and drum set, and at 12 he started playing piano.
His prodigious musical talent, which included arranging, composing and performing jazz and classical music, co-existed with his skill as an award-winning and prolific audiobooks narrator and voice actor.
"Angelo was passionate, intense, obviously talented, fiercely loyal and loving, very faithful in Christ," said his mother, Martha A. Di Loreto. "But Angelo lived with the illness of anxiety and depression, and in his final moments the disease took hold of him."
His mother and his father, Domenic Di Loreto, stressed that their son "lived a full life until the disease overtook him," with close relationships with his family and many friends. He was 30 at the time of his death in Manhattan, where he had lived for 12 years.
His musical talent was "a total gift from God," his father said. "He was born to make music." When he was a child, his father would occasionally ask him, "Are you hearing music in your head right now?" and his son would reply, "All the time, Dad."
A 2004 graduate of St. Gregory the Great School, Mr. Di Loreto attended Canisius High School for three years before transferring to Williamsville East High School for its music program. He graduated in 2008.
He was a five-year member of the Greater Buffalo Youth Orchestra, performing as a percussionist and pianist. In 2007, the orchestra performed Mr. Di Loreto's original arrangements of five works by John Coltrane, and the next year, his performance won the orchestra's Senior Concerto Competition.
A graduate of Eastman Community Music School of Music's Pre-College Jazz Studies, he graduated with honors and participated in the Eastman Youth Jazz Orchestra.
He earned a bachelor's degree in 2011 in jazz piano performance and a master's degree in jazz piano composition in 2013, both from the Manhattan School of Music.
For the past three years, he was associate director of music and organist at Calvary-St. George’s Episcopal parish in Manhattan.
He also was the pianist in the Philippe Lemm Trio with Jeff Koch and Philippe Lemm. The group has recorded three CDs and toured extensively, with debuts at jazz festivals in Finland and Spain, as well as performances in Lithuania, Germany and Belgium. The trio won the 2015 B-Jazz International Contest in Belgium, in which Mr. Di Loreto was named best soloist.
Mr. Di Loreto was commissioned to arrange music for the Metropole Orkest, the Grammy-winning pops orchestra in the Netherlands.
He was a finalist in the 2012 Nottingham International Jazz Piano Competition in the United Kingdom and a three-time winner of the ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award, including for 2020.
In 2013, Mr. Di Loreto and colleagues, including Lemm and Koch, moved to Mumbai, India, for four months to work as the inaugural faculty at the True School of Music, India’s first comprehensive music institute. They also taught and performed in and around Mumbai and India, including performances with Canadian jazz composer and pianist Renee Rosnes and a tour with Bollywood singer Shilpa Rao.
With his friend Adam Kromelow, Mr. Di Loreto toured North America and Europe with the Genesis Piano Project, performing the early music of the rock band Genesis on two pianos.
Through the years, he played in famous venues, including the Birdland Jazz Club and the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York City and Ronnie Scott's in London.
In 2016, Mr. Di Loreto taught a master class and the trio performed at SUNY Buffalo State. Locally, he also performed at Pausa Art House in Allentown and the NorthEast Jazz Festival in Lewiston.
Mr. Di Loreto was commissioned to write a Jazz Mass in 2019 to celebrate the 125th anniversary of All Saints’ Church and St. George’s Chapel in Rehoboth Beach, Del.
An actor and voice actor, Mr. Di Loreto narrated more than 200 audiobooks for publishers, including Audible Studios, Penguin Random House, Hachette, Brilliance and Simon and Schuster. He won the Voice Arts Award for best fiction voiceover for his recording of "The Murmur of Bees” by Sofia Segovia.
As is typical in audio books, Mr. Di Loreto used a pseudonym for some work, narrating about 125 romance titles as Brian Pallino.
Mr. Di Loreto also voiced commercials and narrated/acted other productions.
Besides his parents, Mr. Di Loreto is survived by a sister, Marina Eichhorn; and a grandmother, Irma Marini Narduzzo.
A Memorial Mass will be offered at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 27 in St. Gregory the Great Church, 200 St. Gregory Court, Amherst. Friends are welcome; the Mass will also be live-streamed at stgregs.org/live-stream.