James Bennett II is a staff writer for WQXR.
Watch: James Rhodes Plays Bach in the WQXR Studios
Tuesday, March 21, 2017 - 12:00 AM
In February, British pianist James Rhodes stopped in the WQXR studios ahead of a performance at National Sawdust. He was also in town to promote his memoir, Instrumental: A Memoir of Madness, Medication, and Music. Rhodes is known for his approach to sharing classical music with the audience in a manner that strips away the grandeur of it all, leaving only the music itself to be appreciated. For much of his youth, the pianist had an unorthodox and informal musical training, and at the age of 18 he began a ten year break from the instrument. However, that separation did not diminish the quality of his playing or those necessary skills; within the past eight years he has released six albums.
During his visit to WQXR he played, among other pieces, Bach’s Prelude No. 1 in C major, from The Well-Tempered Clavier. Check out the performance below, along with his revelation of how, with some determination and six weeks to spare, you too can play Bach.