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Rough Rhodes to Success

October 23, 2011


 I’ve wanted to write something about classical pianist James Rhodes for a while, but haven’t really known what to write.  On one hand I find him a fascinating character; on the other hand his heavily promoted “bad boy” image is pushed enough to make my eyes roll.  Yet, his agenda is a hard one to fault – reaching broader audiences, putting a fresh spin on the classical concert experience, and playing “proper classical” without a huge stick up his, ahem, arse (- his words, not mine).  Classical world can probably use that right about now.

I’ve watched several of Rhodes’s YouTubes, and while I wouldn’t label him as the definitive interpreter of the composers he plays, his playing is respectful, engaging, and smart.  As are his chats with the audience explaining the pieces.  

I’d love to hear from someone who has seen him live and get their opinion on him.
Any of my UK readers maybe?? 

Talking about reaching a broader audience, this teacher, Mr. B (David Bodeman from Mohawk Country Day School in White Plain, NY), is educating a new generation with creativity, and by the looks of it, a ton of fun.  He even has his own fan page.

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