The Hradistan Folk Music and Dance Ensemble came to being back in 1950 in the old Moravian town of Uherské Hradiste. Their aim was to preserve the traditional musical culture of the region and their emblematic instrument was the cymbalon, a kind of giant zither which, in the hands of a virtuoso, sounds like a harpsichord on Dexedrine. In 1975 the helm of the group was handed to the 21 year old Jiri Pavlica who brought his considerable vision and imagination to bear on the task of preserving and updating Moravian folk music. He delved back into the region’s past and came up with pagan chants, the haunting plainsong of early Christian choirs, dances used to muster troops during the Napoleonic wars and reams of modern folk songs. Hradistan perform all of these with skill and infectious enthusiasm transporting you on a roller-coaster ride through the bittersweet history of this enchanting corner of Eastern Europe.
Biography by Andy Morgan, June 2001