Follow Us on Twitter

James Rhodes at the Roundhouse

Story by Lizzie Guilfoyle

PIANIST James Rhodes will perform at the Roundhouse on Wednesday, May 13, 2009 – the first classical musician to give a solo recital at this historic London music venue since the reopening.

The Roundhouse concert is another step in Rhodes’ meteoric career. Not content with the ‘straitjacket’ approach to classical music, Rhodes interacts with his audience, sharing his thoughts on the music and the composers, bringing a touch of rock ‘n’ roll to each performance.

His concerts focus on the immersive experience that classical music can offer, a far cry from the raked seating and distant, spot-lit, white-tie-and-tails maestro stereotype that has ruled the classical performance world for so long.

Speaking about the forthcoming concert, Rhodes said:

“For me to be the first classical musician to present a solo recital at the Roundhouse is a huge honour and the reason I’ve been working so hard for the last few years. I’ve always been resolute in my conviction that more people need and want to listen to genuine classical music. It’s about time we did something to change the old-fashioned perception of how classical music should be presented and to let the music speak for itself. To be able to chat with the audience, explain in person what these pieces are about for me and then to perform them in a venue that is unlike any other classical concert hall is a huge privilege and one that I have wanted to achieve my whole life.”

Rhodes will be playing a selection of compositions by Beethoven, Bach, Mozart and Moszkowski taken mostly from his highly successful debut album Razor Blades, Little Pills and Big Pianos, which was released by the independent label Signum Records on February 2 and has received international critical acclaim.

The unorthodox title and striking cover image shot by Dennis Morris, official photographer for the late Bob Marley and ultimate punk icons The Sex Pistols, reflects Rhodes’ biographical journey and maverick approach to classical music.

Rhodes also said: “Finally being able to put the Razor Blades and Little Pills behind me and concentrate solely on the Big Pianos has rocketed me into a new dimension of freedom and happiness. I’m thrilled to be able to try and pass some of those feelings on to a new, bigger audience.”

The Roundhouse concert follows Rhodes successful performance at this years nominations launch for the Classical Brit Awards 2009 with NS&I, alongside the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, Katherine Jenkins and Faryl Smith. The event was held on Monday, April 20 at the Mayfair Hotel.

Rhodes made his debut performance at the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall in February of this year. He is also due to play in New York at the end of this month at the iconic Joe’s Pub (Public Theatre on Lafayette Street) music venue.

Complete repertoire for the Roundhouse recital:

Beethoven Sonata Op.90 Sonata Op. 109
Bach French Suite No. 5 in G
Bach-Busoni Chaconne
Moszkowski Etincelles
Bach-Marcello Adagio
Mozart/Volodos Rondo alla turca

For tickets call the box office on 0844 482 8008 or visit the Website