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Meet Our Donors

George and Dorothy "Duffy" Ftikas

George and Dorothy "Duffy" Ftikas share a love of symphonic and chamber music, good food and travel. They particularly love the National Symphony Orchestra. "We are so pleased that we can support a first tier orchestra." Subscribers since they moved to Washington DC in 1986, the Ftikases say it's a privilege to see the combination of lyricism from the days of Principal Conductor Mstislav Rostropovich added to the discipline from Leonard Slatkin culminate in the excitement of current Director, Maestro Christoph Eschenbach.

They particularly love hearing and watching Concert Master, Nurit Bar-Josef and Principal Cellist, David Hardy both as part of the NSO and playing chamber music. As George's hometown Thassaloniki, the 2nd largest city in Greece and capital of Macedonia didn't have a symphony or any classical music, his early exposure to music was limited to a cousin's gramophone. One day he found a 78 recording of Beethoven's Egmont Overture and recounts how this record opened up a whole new world for him. His face lights up when he remembers the pivotal moment that led him to develop a great love for Beethoven. He describes the German composer's works as music that makes his hair stand on end…he likes to add with a twinkle "I don't have any hair." While George loves music, he bemoans his own inability to play an instrument. He says that it never sounds the way he wishes to hear it, but he is delighted to satiate his desire for beautiful music by coming to NSO performances with Duffy.

Duffy's love of classical music was encouraged both by her mother playing piano in her childhood home, and through wonderful gifts of records and concert tickets from her grandfather. After completing her Master's degree at Columbia University, Duffy worked for 35 years (at the same school!) in her home state of New Jersey as an occupational therapist helping disabled young children learn self-care skills. She loved every moment of her career, and was sad to retire and leave such a meaningful life's work. Her sadness is not regret though, as she and George can now do many fantastic things together — especially travelling around the world. Duffy also felt confident to retire, as she had the opportunity to train many graduate students in her field and she takes great satisfaction that her work will be carried on by others.

It was this sense of gratification that also inspired the Ftikases to make the NSO a beneficiary of their IRA. It is the most tax-efficient gift they can leave, and it will help ensure the future of the performances they love so much.

With the worries of the workplace now at bay, George and Duffy can be found travelling around the world — typically on a cruise, immersing themselves in local culture. Duffy says that they "hunger for travel" and just last year visited Fiji, Tahiti, Bali, Tasmania and one of their favorites — New Zealand. When not off exploring international arts, the Ftikases enthusiastically enjoy the opportunities here in Washington that their Artist's Circle membership affords them, especially the small events where they have met Maestro Eschenbach along with many other artists. Each time they are at the Center, they take great pride in knowing they have left their mark on the local arts community. We are so appreciative of George and Duffy's support of the NSO both now and in the future.



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