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Gregg Zavodny

Chairman of the Board

Milana Strezeva

People often ask me, "Are you a musician?" No, I'm not. Playing a musical instrument wasn't part of my upbringing. Music appreciation, however, was something that was nurtured and encouraged when I was at a young age. The first exposure to music that left a lasting impression on me came in primary school when my third grade classmates and I were taken by school bus to Severance Hall for a concert given by the Cleveland Orchestra. Up until then, music was apparent to me but not distinct - music in church was part of the ritual; music in school consisted of learning to sing lullabies, folk, and patriotic songs; and the other exposure to music around me was through the soundtracks of movies and television. Seeing and hearing a live performance by a full orchestra was a revelation that opened my eyes, ears, and heart to the world in a way that would have a lasting positive effect on the quality of my life. With my involvement in Grand Piano Series, I have the opportunity to put a lifetime of music appreciation into action in a meaningful way.

After living in Naples for many years and meeting Milana Strezeva and Raniero Tazzi through my involvement with other local arts organizations, getting to know them, observing their good character, and seeing them found Grand Piano Series as an organization dedicated to inspiring people by presenting world-class performances - and exposing audiences and students to a full range of piano literature - I became involved in helping them to grow and expand their reach and impact.

Many people made it possible for me to have a fuller life by providing me the opportunity to have music in my life. Doing everything I can to support Grand Piano Series allows me to "pay-it-forward" in return. I hope you'll find that Grand Piano Series performance events and activities - concerts for underserved populations, student programs, masterclasses, and lectures, as well as our performance series - are an enhancement to the community and worthy of your generous support.

Retired, Federal Aviation Administration Cleveland Air Route Traffic Control Center. Chair, Program Committee, CAPA Cultural and Performing Arts Center; Vice-President, Arts Planet; Program Director, Opera Naples ‘Best at the Wang’ series. Patron of Artis—Naples; Summer programs at Chautauqua Institution.

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