The world we live in is full of extraordinary people whose talents whatever they may be, boggles the minds of those who experiences these people. In Croatia there lives one of these such talents, his name is, Frano Zivkovic. Frano is an eleven year old guitar player who is quickly gaining world fame. What Frano does when he picks up a guitar, is pure magic. His figures maneuvering up and down the neck of his guitar like a poetic dance. The magic that flows through him, transports the listener to another time and place, a happy place. Music is something that with great skill and imagination it will bring enjoyment and happiness to those who listen. Frano is such a skilled person to do this, and more. Often the word prodigy is used too loosely, but if there’s a person to fit the title, it would be, and is, Frano.
It is Frano’s parents the world needs to thank for the inspiration they gave to him. Since he was born his life has been filled with music. All day long their house was filled with classical music. Even at the age of two, his love of music was showing up. His mom plays the piano and she would learn some children’s music for him. Frano wanted to do whatever his mom was doing, so they gave him a little xylophone. As with most kids he also liked cartoons. He soon took interest in the music that was in these cartoons. “I was watching a lot of cartoons and the one I loved very much was Tom & Jerry in an episode where Tom is playing a double bass. That was totally mind-blowing” says Frano. At some point Frano discovered his father’s guitar and even though it was bigger than he was, he had to play it. “I had so much fun, I turned the guitar upside down and put it like a double bass” says Frano. Soon after playing his dad’s guitar like a double bass he began playing melodies from all kinds of cartoons. When his third birthday rolled around, he was given his very first guitar and just the right size to fit him.
When watching Frano play, it is easy to see that the guitar is actually an extension to his person. Frano feels the guitar has the most beautiful sound of all instruments. He also likes that the guitar allows the player to do some crazy tricks with it. “You can use it like a drum, violin, piano and so on. The guitar is one of the first instruments ever that is with me and I can’t last a day without her” says Frano. From the age of eight he has played the 3/4 classical and acoustic guitars.
At five years of age he made his first public solo appearance. He played in the Academy of Music in Rijeka for a solo recital. He has never stopped since this performance. He loves performing concerts and to date he has performed approximately 150 shows.
One of Frano’s favorite performances came when he got to be on stage with his idol, Tommy Emmanuel. His parents took him to a Kings of Strings show and his idol Tommy invited him on stage to play a couple of songs with him. Now whenever he performs with Tommy, it always feels like his dream is coming true. They have played together in Linz, Trieste, and Munich. “My biggest wish is to have a tour with Tommy” says Frano.
Frano does School Tours, and he feels playing in front of the kids is amazing. Performing in his School Tour concerts has become a favorite for him. He looks forward to doing as many of these tours as possible.
Frano has recorded several CD’s singing children’s music. He was honored when the Faculty of Education chose him to sing in their educational music book. He has also had the honor of winning some competitions with guitar in Porec Croatia, Niksic Montenegro and national solfeggio contest in Dubrovnik which he won twice.
Music is who Frano is, it flows through his body and he loves every aspect of it. There are many artists and composers who inspire him musically and has much respect for. Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Chopin and many others like these are inspiring to listen and play. Some of the guitarists he likes are, Villa Lobos, Paco de Lucia, Django Reinhardt, Andres Segovia, John Williams, Jerry Reed, Chet Atkins, John Scofield, Pat Metheny, all of these he has huge respect for. His mom has introduced him to some popular artists like The Beatles, Queen, Micheal Jackson, Tina Turner, and David Bowie. Even with all of these wonderful artists he still loves to listen and play music from Disney and other children soundtracks. Playing Tommy Emmanuel’s music is something he is growing up with. “His arrangements are stunning, full of surprises, his every concert is different, full of energy, love and joy. In my opinion he is one of the best artists ever” says Frano.
At an early age Frano also began composing his own music. He started writing when he was four after his dad installed Guitar Pro. “I already knew how to read notes, so I started to pick around the program. First composition I wrote was When Guitars Sings” says Frano. This was on a lazy Sunday afternoon when he was in his room playing with his mom writing some notes. He asked his mom to write the lyrics, she did and later that song found its way onto a kids music album.
When Frano composes he usually has his instrument in hand or in front of the software called, Sibelius. He starts to play some melodies from his head and slowly develops the composition from there. “Some compositions are a result from some resent happening in my life, it can be a walk in nature, a pet, a friend, or it can be the result of the homework” says Frano. The Swedish guitarist and composer Johannes Moller with whom Frano has lessons with occasionally, gave him an assignment to write a tango, and so, he is writing a tango.
Frano has big dreams when it comes to what he would like to do in life. The School Tour projects that he does, he would like to perform in every country around the world that would allow him. And of course if Tommy is willing to take him places, he will go. If a day came and someone decided to do a movie of Jerry Reed, Frano would love to play him as a youngster or Chet Atkins or Bob Dylan. “Playing guitar in a movie would be such a cool thing to do. Some movies and music have a deep impact on me. It’s amazing it have influence in the direction of one’s life” says Frano.
Music is his favorite art, but he also likes other things as well. Some of the things Frano likes to do are: drawing, playing with imagination, some science and experimenting, read a book, watching movies and building with legos. He would also like to make best friends with who will be with him for the rest of his life.
Frano is inspired by many great artists, but he is also inspiring others with his own music. The accomplishments he has made and the skill level at which he performs exceeds many who are far older. What Frano does with a guitar is something very few people have been able to do. When he plays, you can see he is totally engulfed in the song he is playing, nothing outside of that song seems to exist. He is truly mesmerizing. Music in many ways is like medicine, it can heal inside and out. In dark days it can make it bright and if one is hurting, it can ease the pain. Frano brings joy and happiness with his music. Don’t miss out on anything he does visit him often at, www.frano.tv , www.youtube.com/franotv , www.facebook.com/franotv.