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James Rhodes - Instrumental


James Rhodes is a classical pianist and author of the book “Instrumental: A Memoir of Madness, Medication and Music.” If you think you’ve seen me go deep with a guest on previous episodes of London Real just wait until you see what happens in this interview. In this interview I ask James about his Princess Diana moment aged seven, being the first ever pianist signed to a rock label, why his book was so nearly banned and so much more! So click play and enjoy one of the most compelling episodes of London Real I’ve ever made.

Born on March 6, 1975, in London, Rhodes has not only distinguished himself as a remarkable musician but also as an advocate for making classical music accessible to all. His journey is one marked by resilience, passion, and a commitment to breaking down barriers in the world of classical music.

James Rhodes’ early life was marred by personal challenges, including a tumultuous upbringing and battles with mental health. Despite facing adversities, his love for music became a source of solace and inspiration. Rhodes discovered the piano at a young age, and it quickly became a lifeline for him.

Rhodes’ formal training in music took him to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where he honed his skills under the guidance of eminent teachers. His dedication and exceptional talent led to a promising career in the classical music scene. Rhodes’ proficiency on the piano, characterised by technical brilliance and emotional depth, began to draw attention, setting the stage for his ascent in the world of classical music.

In addition to his technical prowess, James Rhodes is known for his unconventional approach to classical music. Breaking away from traditional concert norms, he seeks to make the genre more accessible and relatable to a wider audience. Rhodes has embraced social media and technology, using platforms like Twitter and Instagram to share his performances, thoughts on music, and snippets of his life. This digital engagement has allowed him to connect directly with fans and enthusiasts, democratising the experience of classical music.

Rhodes’ autobiography is a candid exploration of his life, struggles, and the transformative power of music. The book has become a bestseller and received critical acclaim for its honesty and vulnerability. Through his personal narrative, Rhodes advocates for mental health awareness, challenging societal stigmas and fostering open conversations about mental well-being.

Recognising the transformative power of music education, Rhodes has been involved in various initiatives to bring classical music to schools and communities. His work aims to break down socioeconomic barriers, ensuring that children from all backgrounds have access to the benefits of music education. Rhodes firmly believes in the universal language of music as a tool for personal development and social change.

James Rhodes’ journey from a challenging early life to becoming a celebrated pianist and cultural force exemplifies the transformative power of music.

His unconventional approach to classical music, advocacy for mental health awareness, and commitment to making music accessible have left an indelible mark on the cultural landscape. James Rhodes’ legacy extends beyond the piano keys; it resonates in the hearts of those who have been touched by his music and inspired by his unwavering dedication to the transformative potential of art.


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