James Rhodes’ eagerly-awaited live CD entitled Jimmy: James Rhodes Live in Brighton will be released on 7 May on the award-winning independent label Signum Classics.
The new album, James’ fourth, also marks James’ fourth year in the industry as a classical recording artist. The two-CD set, recorded live at The Old Market, Hove, in December 2011, pays tribute to his past studio albums featuring music by Bach, Beethoven, Moszkowski, Rachmaninov and Chopin. All three previous studio albums reached No.1 in the UK and Australian iTunes charts. This live release marks another landmark in James’s music career which has also seen him be the first classical concert pianist to perform at the Latitude and E4 Udderbelly festivals (2010).
The live release not only captures James's own eclectic choice of piano repertoire but also his trademark stand-up style routine of sharing his passion and comical banter with his audience. “Jimmy”, as he is known to his friends, is a personal project for James who wanted to capture a live concert in thanks to his army of followers on social media platforms that include his popular Telegraph blog, and to continue to break new territory in making classical music more accessible.
2012 also sees James developing his career in television. Following on from the success of his BBC Four documentary Chopin: The Women Behind The Music (2010), James will present and perform in a Channel 4 documentary to air later this year. The documentary is being produced with Jamie Oliver's company, Fresh One Productions, who also produced James’ TV series Piano Man for Sky Arts in 2010.
James’ debut live album marks an important point in his career in which he has remained true to his calling of bringing a fresh approach and strong musical character to his playing without ever watering down a core-classical repertoire. His previous CDs have been critically-acclaimed and generated widespread coverage that celebrates his ability to combine deeply serious music-making with an approachable, quirky attitude that has drawn countless new fans to the world of classical music.