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Young Talent Spotlight: John Robert Franek

Jenny Shannon

Sunday, August 10, 2014 • 6:50am

WEST CALDWELL, NJ – On August 5, John Robert Franek performed his, “Farewell Concert” at the West Caldwell Library for an eager audience compromised of, “many favorite faces,” according to Franek.

This made the fourth concert Franek has performed at the venue. The recent James Caldwell High School graduate is set to attend the renowned Westminster Choir College in the fall.

Franek recently spoke of his introduction to music and credited his mother and brother for encouraging his talent.

“I used to go and watch my brother whenever he was practicing, and I was always captured in a sort of trance that held me under the music's voice. My brother and my mother then decided when I was twelve that I should take lessons with Janet Hein of North Caldwell. It became evident that this was what I wanted to do. I began to hear music in everything, and now, a day doesn't go by when I don't have music in my head.”

Franek’s talent isn’t limited to playing, however. He’s been composing his own, complex pieces for three years.

“My composing started when I was fifteen, and from then to now it has always been purely self-study.  I love everything to do with composition, but my favorite part is when it is performed in public.  The moment of connection between the notes and the audience and performer(s) is the reason why I continue working.”

Franek’s aspirations reach above and beyond those of a typical college freshman, carrying a mature balance of humility and ambition. 

“All I want, and nothing more, is to speak to the most people I can with my music. I do not want fame for fame, or success for the sake of success, but rather use these tools to connect to people of whom I will never meet. I want to save lives, change lives, and be an inspiration for fellow musicians and artists.” 

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