Following his first Australian tour, pianist James Rhodes returned to London’s Southbank on 26th November for his first concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall since his acclaimed debut there two years ago. Reprising his repertoire from the tour, the programme included Beethoven’s ‘Waldstein’ piano sonata, the ‘Romance’ from Chopin’s first piano concerto and Bach’s Chaconne transcribed for the piano, as well as his customary (and, now, legendary) stand-up interaction with the audience.
Interrupting his practice sessions prior to the performance, Lawrence met him in a cosy cafe a stone’s throw from Little Venice and chatted to him about the repertoire, choosing a Steinway and asked for advice on his forthcoming Grade 1 exam*.
Listen in on their conversation from this podcast… or to download, right click the link text on this page.
Tweeting after the show, “Yikes, what an awesome response to the gig tonight. Thanks to all who came!”, James delivered three encores – including Mozart’s Rondo a la Turk…a la Jimi Hendrix – to rapturous applause and a standing ovation before signing copies of his albums. The next of which he records in Brighton in live concerts on 8th and 9th December.
“His sound cannot be mistaken for that of any other pianist, alive or dead. It is confrontational, brittle, and intermittently seductive.” (Norman Lebrecht)
*Larry’s that is, not James’s.