|Country Of origin:||Czech Republic|
Although virtually unknown outside Central Europe, Jan Burian is a critically acclaimed singer/songwriter and an important personality in the Czech Republic's cultural landscape. He has recorded a handful of albums, but also published many books of his poetry, travel diaries, and articles (since he also worked as a journalist), and hosted a talk show on Czech television. His lyrics often resort to humor and irony to depict everyday situations. The literary level of his lyrics and his piano-and-vocals solo performances have drawn comparisons to Psí Vojáci's frontman Filip Topol, but Burian's music usually remains much more lighter and playful. Each one of his albums holds a different personality, mainly due to the fact that the artist works with a different arranger every time.
Burian was born in Prague, 1952, in a family of artists. His mother was a writer, his father worked in theater, and one of his uncles was composer Emil Frantisek Burian. His piano training began at a young age. He studied journalism and for a short time in the 1970s worked as the editor of a music magazine. Midway through that decade he began to perform, first in rock groups and with his friend Jirí Dedecek. His subtle criticism of the Communist regime was not subtle enough to go by undetected, and as a result he was forbidden to release his music. Beside a self-titled EP in 1986, he had to wait for the Velvet Revolution of November 1989 to give birth to his first solo album, Hodina Duchu ("The Hour of Spirits"). For a few years he focused on music, releasing Cerny z Nebe ("Black From Heaven") in 1991, and the acclaimed Poesie ("Poetry") in 1994. For the latter, he stopped writing lyrics and used poems by a handful of Czech authors, something folk singer Vladimír Veit had done a few years before on Ve Lví Stope.
For the next four years Burian stepped away from the music scene. His involvement with television started in 1992 and he concentrated on that and his books for a while, publishing in particular a series of travel diaries (New York, Denmark, Chile, Iceland). Meanwhile, Czech record labels reissued his first two LPs, keeping his career warm for his comeback in 1998. He has released three more albums since, including Unaveny Válecník (2000), a collection of songs on poems by Danish author Benny Andersen. ~ François Couture~ Rovi