James Rhodes’ unorthodox approach to classical presentation has caught the attention of Warner Bros Records, which has signed a recording deal with the British pianist. His first release is scheduled for late 2010.
The 35-year-old has released two recital albums to date on Signum Classics - “Razor Blades Little Pills and Big Pianos” and “Now Would All Freudians Please Stand Aside”. Despite the unconventional titles – which draw upon Rhodes’ difficult childhood and early adulthood – the discs are devoted to mainstream repertoire, including works by Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Busoni and Moskowski.
In signing to Warners, Rhodes hopes his reputation for informal, unpretentious live performance will enable him to reach a wider audience: “Core classical piano repertoire has been my most constant and consistent companion. Working with Warner Bros, the world's largest rock label, and reaching out to the widest possible audience without watering down this truly great music is exciting beyond belief.”
Conrad Withey, president of Warner Music Entertainment, echoes this sentiment: “He is a truly gifted and unique artist with a no-nonsense, mass-market approach to music,” he says. “James Rhodes can be to classical music what Jamie Oliver has been to food and cooking and we are all looking forward to the journey ahead as we work with James and his management across recorded music, television, online and live projects to realise this vision."
During 2010 Rhodes will feature in BBC Four documentary, “Chopin: the Women behind the Music”, and will perform at the Southbank Centre’s E4 Udderbelly series, the Cheltenham Music Festival and the Latitude Festival.