James Rhodes at Cheltenham Music Festival

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This year’s Cheltenham Music Festival brings you an exclusive double bill featuring pianist James Rhodes and Penguin Café’s Arthur Jeffes in a new project, Sundog.

Pianist, raconteur, write and broadcaster James Rhodes brings a captivating evening of one-off music making to the Festival. We recently caught up with him for a chat about Beethoven, why concerts are like first dates and what to expect from his Music Festival appearance. Click on the video above to watch the full interview with the Piano Man.

Where are you from?


Where do you call home?

Anywhere with a piano and an ashtray. And coffee.

What have been your career highlights?

My forthcoming Channel 4 documentary: Notes From the Inside, playing to a sold-out Konzerthaus in Vienna, getting an album that included Alkan, Blumenfeld and Chopin into the top 20 rock charts whilst on tour in Australia. Me me me, yawn…

What is the press quote you’re most proud of?

‘In short, this one-time basket-case has transcended his past, got musically serious, and become a very effective ambassador for classical music. Bravo.’ The Independent

Your favourite composer?

Beethoven if I had to choose.

Where will your next stop be after Cheltenham?

Latitude Festival where I’m playing on July 19th.

At this year’s Cheltenham Music Festival, what is your must see?

Boris Giltburg. It’s an offensively challenging programme played by a brilliant, brilliant pianist. Buy his Prokofiev album and be stunned.

What would you have loved to have discover?

The bravery of a 35 year old when I was a kid.

What are you reading right now?

The new Lisa Gardner novel.

What is the guilty pleasure on your iPod?

Sneakily filmed Krystian Zimerman concerts.

If you had to choose: Britten or Poulenc?

Has ANYONE said Poulenc in response to this?

If you could play any other instrument, what would it be?


Catch James Rhodes in a double bill with Sundog at Cheltenham Music Festival on Thursday 4th July.
Tickets now available!