“Sunny Isles Beach resident Olga Zahradnicek left Czechoslovakia after the Warsaw Pact Invasion of 1968. Now, more than 40 years later, she has fond memories of playing the piano as a young woman in her native country, memories that she relived recently in Miami.
Listening to the “Czechoslovakian Spring” piano recital by Florida International University music students brought her to tears with nostalgia for her homeland.
The performance this past February was part of FIU’s Prestige Cultural Series, a partnership between the city of Sunny Isles Beach and FIU’s Office of the Vice Provost.
“I was very thankful that this cultural program from my country was done,” said Zahradnicek, who would not give her age but said she was “nearly 70.” “The soul of the music really came out through the students’ playing.”
The final musical collaboration took place on April 14. The FIU Studio Jazz Big Band performed at the Sunny Isles’ Heritage Park. The concert closed the 2012-13 season of the city’s Four Seasons Cultural Series.
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