GIOVANNI FAVRETTI
1958 - 2021
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FAVRETTI--Giovanni Davide. (March 14, 1958-January 14, 2021). Giovanni grew up in Storrs, CT and graduated from Harvard College, majoring in Classics. He later studied conducting at the Universitat Mozarteum Salzburg. A polymath, he worked in many fields, from teaching to publishing to banking. An avid and accomplished pianist and singer, he sang bass in Amor Artis and served as a valued board member for multiple organizations, including the Metropolitan Opera Club (where he was a former president), the Bagby Foundation, Rare Book School, and the George London Foundation for Singers. Giovanni's life centered on his family and friends, as well as music, theater, travel, and charitable work for the arts. His many other eclectic interests and talents included rare book collecting, book-binding, cooking, gardening, wooden boat building, math, and languages. Giovanni is mourned by his husband, Frank Holozubiec, his parents, Rudy and Joy Favretti, his sisters, Emily and Margaret, and by the rest of his family and his extended network of friends who loved him. He was taken from us too soon and will be sorely missed by all. A memorial service will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to an organization meaningful to you and to Giovanni.


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Published in New York Times on Jan. 17, 2021.
Memories & Condolences
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29 entries
February 24, 2021
I am very sad to hear the news of Giovanni's passing. I worked for Giovanni early in my career at Bankers Trust and then Deutsche Bank. Giovanni had a gift for seeing talent in people who did not quite fit into the system. When others thought I was too young, Giovanni gave me an opportunity and put his faith in me. The opportunities he gave me gave helped me grow and set me on my way. I will always be grateful to Giovanni for sharing his experience with me and I will never forget his generosity. I express my sincere condolences to his family and his loved ones. May Giovanni’s memory be a blessing.
Adam Bell
Coworker
February 24, 2021
Giovanni was my boss in the late 1990s at Deutsche Bank. I always thought he was a great leader, super intelligent, capable and highly motivated. He had deep understanding of both business and technology, which is not very common. His coworkers liked and respected Giovanni and I feel I learned a lot from him at that formative time in my career.

My deepest condolences to his family and friends. Rest in peace Giovanni.
Alex Fridman
Coworker
February 23, 2021
My deepest sympathies to all of Giovanni’s family and friends.
We worked together (same team, different countries) for many years at Deutsche Bank. I have nothing clever to write except to say my abiding memory of Giovanni is that there was never a call where we didn’t have a laugh and a joke, and you always put the down smiling.
An intelligent man who was more interested in what you had to say than what he had to tell you. Rest in peace Giovanni.
Gordon Coletta
Coworker
February 23, 2021
A truly wonderful person I worked with for years. Had a lot of good memories for all the time we spent at Deutsche Bank. I loved our conversations about music, Church and everything in between (including work). God bless you Giovanni. My condolences and best wishes to his husband, family, and friends.
Anthony Puricelli
Coworker
February 21, 2021
I learned so much from Giovanni the boss and later co-worker during a very enjoyable and formative period of my career. He was in many ways the glue of the RAROC 2020 group at Bankers Trust that brought together people from a wide variety of disciplines. His diversity of passions allowed him to lead, relate to and touch so many different people.

God's peace and my condolences to family and friends.
Joe Slunt
Coworker
February 21, 2021
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Fred Bird
February 19, 2021
Giovanni enjoyed taking risks and tackling new challenges; he always flourished while completing them. I have fond memories of him agreeing to deliver near-impossible solutions at work; writing and publishing a history about his family’s emigration to the united states and their ancestral roots in the dolomite region of Italy; studying for and completing the CFA exam; among many others. The first time I invited him to my house for dinner, he spent the whole evening delving into the intricacies of many different operas and classical music performances with the grace and ease of a professional while chatting with my wife who teaches at the conservatory. We worked together throughout the 1990s but continued to stay in touch over the years, meeting every six months or so for a gourmet lunch to talk about everything and anything over a good bottle or two of wine. The last time we spoke was in February 2020; he had just returned from a trip to Europe and we were planning to meet again but Covid put a damper on our plans....I am truly going to miss our perennial lunches !!!
Mark Gaylord
Friend
February 18, 2021
Giovanni was a wonderful coworker. He was gifted in so many areas: we knew about his music and language skills, but also that he could straddle the worlds of technology and finance. He was capable, thoughtful, and had such great taste and knowledge—I am so sorry to hear of his passing and wish every comfort to his husband and the rest of his family.
Michelle McCarthy Beck
Coworker
February 11, 2021
My memories of Giovanni go back to our earliest school days. He was always among the brightest, and most talented in the group. As he and I grew into our later lives, I was always happy to know the kid that had accomplished so much and had so much to give in his life. As talented as he was, he never seemed to put those talents out for all to see. Obviously, his accomplishments speak for themselves. To say Giovanni was studious is an understatement. He will be missed and I will not forget the classmate that made us all a little better.
Jay Fisher
Classmate
February 6, 2021
As a bass in the Metropolitan Opera Chorus, I must have sung many performances and rehearsals Mr. Favretti attended. I'm sorry to say we never met, but I offer my condolences to his family and friends, for the Arts community has lost a friend, and I feel the loss.
Edward Albert
Acquaintance
February 1, 2021
I met Giovanni thanks to Laurie and this was in the years 1984-87 in New York. I am Dutch, and was in New York because of an MBA my husband followed at Colombia University. Later I moved to Geneva in Switzerland. We often spent time together with Giovanni, Laurie and John Cahill. We had wonderful times together. Hanging out in New York, leave NY for the weekend, spend time in the snow at the Catskills, and then in Switzerland and we even went to Lourdes in France. I have very very fond memories of Giovanni, his humor, how he was always so genuine and nice and a good sport, and how we made a great team. We always kept in touch with Christmas cards, Giovanni was really good and It always warmed my heart. I think of him a lot and send him my love there where he is now. I will never forget him.
Rest in peace dear Giovanni
Anna van Heukelom
Friend
January 29, 2021
Giovanni was special. The two of us often sat next to each other each morning on the bus to high school. We shared a lot of AP classes and he was nice and interesting. It’s true that he was a talented pianist and all-around smart person, but he wasn’t flashy about his talents (or at least as subdued as a kid named Giovanni Favretti could be in northeast CT). Riding the bus in a rural area is a lot like the lunch cafeteria, but longer with a somewhat different set of missiles to be thrown. Noisy, somewhat disorganized, and divided into different cliques. Giovanni was a model rider on the bus — enough to draw the praise from his high school bus driver who praised him to my mother years later as quiet and studious. For my part, I just remember feeling comfortable each morning during our ride to school. Our world is an emptier place for his absence and I will miss him at the bus stop.
Ned McCulloch
Classmate
January 28, 2021
I am so sorry for your loss he was such an avid supporter of the Metropolitan Opera Chorus and attended many of our rehearsals —he will be greatly missed
SUZANNE FALLETTI
Acquaintance
January 25, 2021
My heartfelt condolences to Frank and all of Giovanni’s family. I will remember Giovanni well for his calm understated genius and kindness.
Kenny Ross
Friend
January 22, 2021
I have memories of Giovanni since grade school. I was on his bus route home.
In middle school I recall that he wore an ergonomic back-pack, made from brown paper or leather and had shoulder straps, and it fitted across the back. American kids were outfitted with denim rectangular sacs with a draw-string pull to cich the top. The bus kids jeered and laughed at him about his weird unit he’d always turn to look directly at them, then he’d flash that million dollar smile, and get off the bus. Didn’t phase him one bit. Didn”t respond a word. Just got up and left. I realized that was because he knew there was a bigger world out there than those yokels knew; but even so, he had such an impressive adult, and understated, response...
His parents often came to his bus-stop drop-off point after school to greet him and his sister. Giovani always Ran to greet them. I recall thinking his mom was so pretty w/ her long hair, and so hip in her leather belt and jeans...But more importantly, I thought it was incredibly nice of them to put out the effort to do that. I remember spotting Giovanni when I attended an event down at the historical marker place (by Eagleville fire department and Ball Hill road intersection) only to learn his Dad was to lead an informational showing on ‘How to shear a sheep’ ! Ha!
I remember thinking they were such an interesting family. So different than mine

Later in high school, Giovanni and I had 9th grade English together, with Mrs.Singer. He sat behind me. I’d hear odd noises, only to turn around and find Giovnni under the desk! Or, sitting on top of it, or, on top of the back of the chair! He would even answer her questions from his knees on the floor beside his desk! (Of course the answers were always spot-on and full-coverage!) My eyes would get so surprised by what I was seeing; then Giovanni would see me looking, become self-conscious, and then flash that million dollar smile at me He was so hyper, yet being a good student, never left his desk or roamed the room; he simply adjusted his personal space to a larger sphere which was more tolerable. Quietly intrepid and adaptive, much more so than the average student would ever think of. ^_^
He was brilliant, eccentric, and wonderful!

I knew he would “do well and go far” but I didn’t know How or Where. At each high school reunion I’d ask around about him. Somewhere early on, I heard he was in the Stock Market, but after that nobody seemed to know anything. Giovanni never attended any of the reunions When I learned about facebook and joined, just to keep in touch w/ my E.O.S. classmates; he wasn’t on there either. Disappointed, I often wondered what happened to him. I still eagerly looked forward to lobbing ‘ye old’ standard reunion query:
“SO0ooo what have You been up to all these years?!”
I feel very twisted around and deprived because I’ll never get that Post-High-School chat.
Unfortunately, one seems to learn more from a person’s obituary than when they were alive. Apparently, he did go far and wide and was talented and brilliant all the way through!
His loving family, spouse, and friends have known all along ‘what he was up to’ and were able to enjoy him right up to the end. I am so desperately sorry he went so fast, w/o warning. I do hope your many memories will tide you over, till you too pass, and you can see him again.
For me, I’ll forever remember that beautiful million dollar smile.

These memories are sent with sincerity, and with sorrow.


Michelle Sandra Berry
Classmate
January 21, 2021
Giovanni was a subtle powerhouse. Of course, this sort of observation tends to come near or at the end of life. When you first meet someone in college, where we first met, your sense of proportion and measure are understandably limited. Only over time, perhaps decades, if you are lucky enough to share the same company, can you sense how some become more extraordinary, if not exceptional. Giovanni was one of those. He will be dearly missed.
Julian Hatton
Classmate
January 19, 2021
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Beatrice Sevcik
January 19, 2021
Giov and I met as singers in the Harvard Glee Club in 1976, and remained friends to this day (the photo below is of a winter hike on Mt. Chocorua NH in 1978, with his friend and conductor F. John Adams (1944-2011) next to Giovanni (with multicolored hat).

Giov was brilliant and bitingly funny. Among his many talents was an encyclopedic knowledge of Latin (and Greek), so I thought this text (set among others by Bruckner) appropriate in his memory:

Os justi meditabitur sapientiam:
et lingua ejus loquetur judicium.
Lex Dei ejus in corde ipsius:
et non supplantabuntur gressus ejus.
Alleluia.

("The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom:
And his tongue speaks what is just.
The law of his God is in his heart,
And his steps shall not falter.")
Adam Finkel
Friend
January 19, 2021
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G. Marcel Van Coillie
January 19, 2021
We are so saddened to hear the new of Giovanni's untimely passing. He and Frank were great supporters of our daughter, Hannah Sloane when she was studying at Juilliard. They invited her to give a few concerts at their lovely home in Manhattan. We saw them sometimes at the opera. What a tragedy for everyone who knew him, but especially for Frank. Our sincerest condolences. Rebecca and Nat Sloane
Rebecca Sloane
Acquaintance
January 18, 2021
Please except my deepest sympathies to you and your family at this time of grieving. May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief.
Simone Taylor
January 18, 2021
I had the privilege of being Giovanni's classmate from elementary through high school. He was the first true Renaissance man I ever met. Giovanni's genius was matched by his kindness and good humor. My condolences and best wishes to his husband, family, and friends.
Debra Gagne Jeffers
Classmate
January 18, 2021
On the first occasion, as a wandering Brit, I dined at the Metropolitan Opera Club Giovanni became a welcoming friend. His deep knowledge of opera was worn lightly and his tolerance of my less well informed prejudices much appreciated.
More recently, he was pivotal in helping present the Club's online Covid event - Cadenza. As the closing item, he and I often exchanged unscripted banter, and I had hoped we might develop that double act in the coming months. That will no longer be.
I am conscious that I am only one of many whose lives will be diminished by his premature passing. The absence of Giovanni's, engaging, unassuming presence will be widely mourned .
Gerald Malone
Friend
January 17, 2021
I new who you were. We were not close friends. But I could see the genius and love that you were about. Condolences to your family and friends.
James Ouellette
Classmate
January 17, 2021
I have very strong and amazing memories of Giovanni from high school, where he won everyone’s heart and respect through his indelible skill, intellect, passion and friendliness. What a kind and wonderful person, who will be greatly missed.
Howard Kelin
Classmate
January 17, 2021
I have very strong and amazing memories of Giovanni from high school, where he won everyone’s heart and respect through his indelible skill, intellect, passion and friendliness. What a kind and wonderful person, who will be greatly missed.
Howard Kelin
Classmate
January 17, 2021
Giovanni was a good friend I have known since college. I am very sad. RIP
Cliff Robbins
Friend
January 17, 2021
Giovanni, I remember watching you play the piano in high school and being so amazed at your talent. RIP dear soul.
Carrie Novak
Classmate
January 17, 2021
Giovanni was a truly gentle and wonderful man. His untimely passing leaves the world diminished and our lives lessened. He will remain in our hearts and he will be remembered.
Stuart L. Shapiro
Friend
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