Title: Associate professor
Franko Božac , a vivid accordionist and one of the most successful Croatian classical accordion player.
He is one of international ambassadors for the EMMA for Peace (Euro Mediterranean Music Academy) under the patronage of UNESCO and honorary presidency of maestro Riccardo Muti.
In 2012. he has been listed in the Hubners Who is Who, a known reference publication of notable people in the field of economy, politics, science, culture, arts and sports.
In 2014, he recorded the concerto for accordion and string orchestra composed by national Maltese composer Charles Camilleri for NAXOS Records.
In 2017. he became Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in London (ARAM).
As a soloist he has performed with orchestras such as Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra – London, Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, Kaliningrad Philharmonic Orchestra, Österreichische Symphoniker, the Arad State Philharmonic Orchestra, the Ulyanovsk State Symphony Orchestra, Camerata Austriaca, Russian Gnesin’s Academy of Music String Orchestra, Wintergreen Festival Orchestra, the Varaždin Chamber Orchestra, Croatian Chamber Philharmonic, Symphony Orchestra of the University of Pula, Oregon Music Festival Orchestra, Portland Civic Orchestra and Lugansk Philharmonic. Franko has also performed as a member of the orchestra with the London Sinfonietta, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the University of Manchester Symphony Orchestra, the Royal College of Music Symphony Orchestra, “Ensemble 10/10” (Ensemble of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra), and the Symphony Orchestra of HRT (during the gala concerts featuring José Carreras performed in Pula and Sarajevo).
Franko’s collaborations with composers have resulted in premieres of works by contemporary composers, some of which are: After Braque for bayan, mandolin, saxophone and symphony orchestra, by composer Garry Carpenter, Paraphrasesfor accordion and strings composer by Branko Okmaca, Buzz for accordion and string orchestra and a double concerto Allegro Barbaro for accordion, piano and string orchestra by composer Bashkim Shehu, Partita for accordion and Symphony Orchestra composer by A. Atarov and The Hole of Horcum, concerto for accordion and symphony orchestra by composer James Williamson. In 2007, he premiered the work St. Kilda and the European Opera, scored for accordion, cello, trombone, piano, vibraphone, two choirs, children’s choir and soloists, under the baton of Andy Thorburn, which was broadcasted, live on BBC Scotland. Franko’s performance with the London Sinfonietta under the baton of maestro George Benjamin was also broadcasted live on BBC Radio 3.
He has played in renowned venues such as: Smetana Hall in Prague, Oriental Arts Centre in Shanghai, Dalian Development Area Grand Theatre, Liuzhou Culture and Art Center, Jiang Xi Arts Center Hall, Hangzou Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, Cornerstone – Hope at Everton Hall, Cosmo Rodelwald Concert Hall, Duke’s Hall in London, the Bolshoi Concert Hall in Lugansk, Kaliningrad Philharmonic, Lenin Memorial Centre in Ulyanovsk, Concert Hall of the Gnessin Russian Academy of Music in Moscow amongst others.
He has also performed at festivals such as: The Cornerstone Festival in Liverpool (UK), London Virtuoso Festival (UK), Wintergreen Festival (USA), International Music Festival (Groznjan), Bloomsbury Festival (UK), Pula music festival, Piran Musical Evenings (SL), Musical Evenings in St. Donat Zadar, Zetra Festival (B and H) and other.
Franko’s performance in “The Rage of Jacques Brail” with Antony Cable and Stuart Barr, was performed over 80 times in several theatres around the UK, including The New End Theatre. It is also published on CD.
His collaborations with renowned musicians include: Josep Caballé Domenech (conductor and chief protégé of the legendary Sir Colin Davis), George Benjamin (one of the most eminent British composer and the holder of the title of Commander of the Order of the British Empire), Garry Carpenter (songwriter who gained popularity for his music from the cult classic film The Wicker Man), Vasily Petrenko (chief conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra), Stjepan Hauser (member of the popular band 2Cellos), Mladen Tarbuk (conductor) and many other musicians from Malta, Spain, Portugal, China, Italy, Great Britain, Montenegro, Serbia and Croatia.
Franko is dedicated to diverse chamber music performances. In 2008, together with Maltese pianist Charlene Farrugia, he formed Duo Mascagni. Their primary aim is the expansion of the chamber music repertoire for accordion and piano. The duo is in great demand among contemporary festivals and has been invited to hold performances, lecture recitals and premieres around Europe and the USA.