undefined Ladies and gentlemen, esteemed guests, dear members of international jury!

After two years the premises of RTVS, Slovak Radio become once again liven up with the tones of traditional music from various regions of both Europe and more distant localities of the world. We are very honoured to be the organizer of a competition presenting radio recordings in a musical genre which seems to reflect in the best way the richness and diversity of our cultures, as well as the fact of being bond with one´s own identity and roots of the past. Folk music has been accompanying whole generations of performers and listeners, not limited to those who are in some way specifically dedicated to it within their life. It naturally belongs to our communication portfolio, constituting the spiritual dimension of every human.

Despite this fact the approach to using the term folklore is often very insensitive as it tends to disregard the important function the folk music plays in the process of moulding our personality and in our lives in general. Thanks to the wide range of possibilities of its utilization and arrangement, the folklore has recently become a part of artistic activities of various individuals, including musicians, dancers, artists in field of graphic design or architects. Nevertheless, this does not mean the folk elements should only remain in role of solitaires existing in the background of some current artistic trends. They primarily represent a manifest of our identity, relation to the culture of our people, region or particular locality and I am convinced they will continue to fulfil this function also for the upcoming future generations. The folk music recordings we may listen to within our biennial competition reflect both the contemporary musical arrangements and attempts to reconstruct the sound of past times. Going beyond genre frontiers, they include compositions enriched by modern elements of electronic music, as well as pieces offering the music of our ancestors in their quasi preserved form.

Each recording thus opens for us a space with spontaneity and humanity as major governing elements. I hope and believe that also this year´s edition of Svetozár Stračina Grand Prix competition shall intermediate to us the aforementioned key attribute of folk music and provide us all with mutual cultural enrichment.

Michal Dzurjanin, Director of Radio Programme Services, Radio and Television Slovakia