Moravian legend called Hradišťan

Jiří Pavlica and Hradišťan, photo: Marek Malůšek, Official website of Hradišťan band

Hradišťan is one of the country’s most respected performers of Moravian folk music and a phenomenon on the Czech music scene. Besides some beautiful renderings of Moravian and Bohemian folk songs, the band is also famous for its experimental approach to music, combining traditional tunes with modern genres.

Jiří Pavlica and Hradišťan,  photo: archive of Jiří Pavlica and Hradišťan

Hradišťan was established as a folk music ensemble in the south Moravian town of Uherské Hradiště – that’s where the band’s name comes from – in the 1950s. However, its rise to popularity and critical acclaim began when violinist, singer and composer Jiří Pavlica became the band’s leader in the 1970s. Their most recent projects are mostly based on his own, original compositions.

Photo: Panton

"When I joined, it was an excellent band but it was also very traditional, firmly locked within its region and repertoire," he says. "I think the turning point came with the CD dedicated to the Napoleonic wars, Byla vojna u Slavkova. That’s where I tried to break away from all the clichés of that time." The album, recorded at Czech Radios studios in Brno in 1982, gained a legendary status in the Czech Republic.

Over the years, Hradišťan and Jiří Pavlica have performed at various television and radio cycles as well at prestigious festivals at home and abroad. They appeared at concerts in the Moravian Karst, at the Břevnov monastery, at Velehrad as well as at the All-Sokol Meeting at Prague’s Strahov stadium in 2006.