“One of the great pleasures of conducting is discovering great young artists. Working with John Franek has been one of those great pleasures. His artistry shines in his playing and in his composing. Musically, he breathes with the music, bringing it to life and interpreting the very heart of the work. His compositions are rewarding to me on several levels – most notably they are emotionally very moving and satisfying while intellectually they are wonderfully creative and filled with beauty and life. They are works one wants to hear – and in my case conduct – over and over.
Maestro Robert W. Butts, Conductor- Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey
Recipient of the Damien Dixon Scholarship, Andrew Phillips Scholarship, 1st place in Westminster Choir College’s Freshmen Piano Competition, finalist in the Pearl & Julius Young Artist Competition and two time recipient of the PBD Outstanding Young Artist award, John Franek is a pianist and composer who continuously searches for and creates new sonic expressions within the acoustic and electronic worlds.
John started his music studies at the age of twelve where he took piano lessons until the age of fifteen. At the age of fourteen John gave his first public performance, performing works by Mozart, Handel, Beethoven and Schubert as well as some of his own very early works. At the age of fifteen he began studying composition, forming the roots of his musical language from self-study of the Western Classical tradition. John was without any instructor in composition or piano until he entered Westminster Choir College located in Princeton, New Jersey, where he is currently based. Since beginning his college career John has accomplished feats which are not shy of the professional musical world. John has become a published composer with American Carillon Music Editions; who has published his Cleveland Prelude; looks forward to a future publication of his Concerto for Keyboard & Strings by Firebird Music Publications; a new music publishing company; and also looks forward to a future music publication of his piece for carillon; Terpsichorean; in a collection entitled Music for an Elegant Evening. The collection will be published by the Yale Guild of Carilloneurs.
John premiered his Concerto for Keyboard & Strings with the Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey on July 10th, 2016 with Maestro Robert Butts conducting and with John as the soloist. Since then he has also performed in the baroque orchestra’s summer chamber music series as a soloist, performing works across genres; including his own works as well as Mozart’s piano sonata no.8. John has performed across New Jersey and has had premieres across the east coast as well as Europe. John has released three albums, two under the pseudonym Exordium and one with his piano duet Helix 2. All of his albums can be found on iTunes, Amazon Music and many more music distribution services. Helix 2; composed of John and pianist/organist Mike Ryan; performs four-hand and/ or two piano concerts with a concert scheduled as far as Paris in 2019.
In an exclusive interview with Rider news about his work and accomplishments, John stated that, “There’s that invisible string that connects all of us”, and he still strives in his music to shape sound in a way that will similarly shape the listener’s, broadening their understanding and appreciation of the sound world.
Under the tutelage of Phyllis Lehrer, master piano pedagogue and performer, Jay Kawarsky, master composer and ensemble director, and Joel Phillips, master composer and author, John is currently in his Junior year at Westminster Choir College double majoring in Theory & Composition as well as Piano.