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Alumnus John Franek returns to perform at Westminster Choir College February 16

02/05/2020

The Rinaldi Steinway Westminster Piano Alumni Recital Series will continue with a performance by Westminster Choir College alumnus John Franek on Sunday, February 16 at 3 p.m. His performance will be in Bristol Chapel on the Westminster Choir College campus. Admission is free.

He will perform Mozart’s Kleine Phantasie, K. 395 and Fantasy and Fugue no. 1 in C Major, K. 394, and a movement from C. P. E. Bach’s Keyboard Sonata in C Major, H. 244. As well as live improvisations on works by Beethoven and Rihm he will also perform and his own compositions.

Franek has degrees in theory and composition and piano performance from Westminster Choir College. Westminster Professor Jay Kawarsky has described his compositions as “demonstrating a craftsmanship of a composer far beyond his years.” The Philadelphia Inquirer praised his performance of his composition Affektenlehre: Concert for Keyboard & Strings at the Kimmel Center, and wrote, “He brought his talents to the keyboard in his own…inspired high-energy blend.”

Currently pursuing a master’s degree in composition at King’s College in London, Franek has performed and premiered his own works on three continents and has given concerts throughout the United States. An avid researcher and performer of Mozart, he has toured his “Franek & Mozart” lecture-concert in which he aims to provide the listeners with a new perspective on the emotional range of Mozart’s music. He premiered his Piano Concerto No.1 with the Central Jersey Symphony Orchestra. He has recorded extensively as a solo artist, most recently releasing an album composed entirely of solo keyboard works by Mozart on DoubleV Digital Recordings.

Since arriving to London in September of 2019, Franek has had premieres of his works and given performances throughout England, Italy and Germany. In addition to these performances he looks forward to the premiere of his work Beton Ugolkí, which will be performed by the Lontano ensemble in London the day before his Westminster concert. The London-based opera company Tête-à-tête will premiere his opera Nous this summer. Additionally, Franek recently launched his ambient music label Aphoria, and he has begun work at a historical keyboard institute in Augsburg, Germany.

Reflecting on his upcoming performance at Westminster, he says, “Performing at Westminster is a consistently moving experience, more emotional now than ever. It is the ground where I first planted seeds of my personal journey, emotionally and musically, and any return to WCC is bound to carry with it notably unique emotional experiences for me. I would like those who I play for, here and elsewhere, to know how abundant my joy and pleasure is to share these moments with you. I am extremely lucky to be pursuing a life and lifestyle that I feel completes me, and it would not be possible without those who listen.”

The Rinaldi Steinway Westminster Piano Alumni Recital Series is generously sponsored by Bob Rinaldi and the Jacobs Music Company.