“This might sound cheesy, but I entitled the album Nanook because it’s the name I wanted to give to my first child, and in some way this is the first time I am giving something to the world that didn’t exist before. All the songs in the album have been composed in a period of fear and self-doubt, and it’s kind of ironic that these songs are what is dragging me out of it. Intuition and randomness lead the composition process, rather than formalism or harmony theory”.
Amazon | iTunes | Apple Music | Spotify
‘The most fun part of my job is figuring out what to play live. There s an infinite choice of immense, immortal music and I always try and design concert programmes a bit like a setlist for the audience. For this compilation (of my personal recordings from the last six years) I wanted to carry on in that vein and so I ve made it a mix tape – these are the pieces that come up in my head unwarranted at 4am to get me through another rotten night of insomnia. These are the ones that always give me hope and a reason to hang on in there because if music like this can exist then there is simply no question that the good outweighs the bad. They are my inside tracks.’ James Rhodes, 2015
Buy (Amazon) | Buy (iTunes)
James Rhodes’ passion for music has been his absolute lifeline. It has been the thread that has held him together through a life that has encompassed pain, conflict and turmoil. Listening to Rachmaninov on a loop as a traumatised teenager or discovering an Adagio by Bach while in a hospital ward – such exquisite miracles of musical genius have helped him survive his demons, and, along with a chance encounter with a stranger, inspired him to become the renowned concert pianist he is today.
This is a memoir like no other: unapologetically candid, boldly outspoken and surprisingly funny – James’ prose is shot through with an unexpectedly mordant wit, even at the darkest of moments. An impassioned tribute to the therapeutic powers of music, Instrumental also weaves in fascinating facts about how classical music actually works and about the extraordinary lives of some of the great composers. It explains why and how music has the potential to transform all of our lives.
Buy (UK) | Paperback out now
Support & Advice
If you have been affected or triggered by any of the issues in my book and need support, please click here
I've always been a big fan of doing classical slightly differently. It's been five years since I started out on this mental, terrifying, utterly brilliant career path and this is, I hope, kind of a snapshot of the journey so far. So here I am in a theatre playing a kind of classical set list based around Love. Because, well, everything creative is about love isn't it?
Rather than go into more detail here I'll just let you watch the show where I explain why, when, where and how these pieces were written and what they mean to me before I play them.
This is as close to being at one of my concerts as is possible without actually turning up. I hope you like it.
Five years on from his debut recording with Signum Records, James Rhodes has firmly established himself in the classical world as pioneering figure reaching out through concerts, recordings and television documentaries to create new classical music fans whilst remaining unabashedly dedicated to the core repertoire that he performs. In his fifth recital album, he returns with a sumptuous programme of works of Bach, Beethoven and Chopin, the Gluck Sgambatti Orfeo Melody , and Liszt s arrangement of Robert Schumann s Frühlingsnacht'.