Pianist Lea Bradley Gentile, Mount Airy native and former student of Mildred Robertson, will return to Mount Airy from her home in China for “A Multi-Media Inter-active Piano Concert with a Children’s Corner” at Central United Methodist Church on Sunday at 3 p.m.
The concert is presented by the Surry Arts Council in collaboration with Central United Methodist Church. The concert will benefit the Mildred Robertson Scholarship Fund.
The music spanning 300 years and four continents will be accompanied by images and commentary. A special feature of the concert is a children’s component dedicated to younger listeners. Pieces include Bach, Chopin, a Chinese piece called “Butterfly Lovers” – a kind of Romeo and Juliet piece from Villa-Lobos’ “The Family of Dolls.” Lea will include a performance of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” with commentary on its place in American Music.
As a piano soloist Gentile has performed at Lincoln Center in New York City, the Chicago Cultural Center (broadcast live over WFMT Fine Arts Radio), The Accademia Musicale Cigiana in Siena, Italy, at The Banff Center in Alberta, Canada, and with the Winston-Salem Symphony. For the past 14 years she has lived in the People’s Republic of China where she performs regularly with her students, as a soloist and in schools as a visiting artist.
After earning a Master of Music degree from Indiana University, Gentile participated in the program of Advanced Studies in Music at The Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada. There she took part in master classes of many famous world-class artists. In addition, she has studied with Arminda Canteros in New York City and Guido Agosti in Rome, Italy. Her undergraduate work was done at Manhattan School of Music in New York City and at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.
Henry Rowe, also a student of Mildred Robertson’s, and the Surry Arts Council have been communicating with Gentile regarding the performance. Mildred was a well-known piano instructor and supporter of the arts. Lea’s family was prominent in Mount Airy, her hometown. Her father, Dr. Ace Bradley, was one of the founders of NC Foam Industries and was prominent in local community organizations. Henry will be on hand to introduce Lea and comment on Mildred Robertson’s contributions to the arts in the area.
The concert is open to the public and is free of charge. There is a suggested donation to the Surry Arts Council, earmarked for the Mildred Robertson Scholarship Fund which is managed by the North Carolina Community Foundation. The fund provides an annual scholarship to a student pursuing a career in music.