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James Rhodes With Special Guest Jarvis Cocker

An unmissable evening with two of the UK’s most brilliant musicians.

Podcast coming soon.

James Rhodes is the maverick of classical music, and he wants us to view classical composers in a whole new way. Take Bach, Mozart and Beethoven. Old guys with curly wigs, right? Wrong, says Rhodes: those composers were the original rock stars. Their struggles, anxieties and triumphs make them all too recognisable to us today.

But it’s the awe-inspiring music created by these complicated geniuses that Rhodes wants to bring to a wider audience. And for anyone who finds the idea of classical music a bit daunting or just doesn’t know where to begin, Rhodes has the answer. He’s curated a playlist on Spotify and written a book – James Rhodes’ Playlist: The Rebels and Revolutionaries of Sound – in which he guides us in his inimitable, informal style through some of the most breathtaking and magnificent pieces of music ever created.

On November 25, Rhodes will appear for Intelligence Squared at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in conversation with musician and presenter Jarvis Cocker. Together they will unpack the ways in which music works on our mind and our emotions, and Rhodes will play pieces by the great composers which have consoled, inspired and uplifted him. He’ll also explain why, whatever kind of music you like, the great classical composers are responsible for every track on your phone today.

Whether you are a life-long fan of classical music or a first-time listener, join us for what promises to be an unmissable evening with two of the UK’s most brilliant musicians.

James Rhodes photo on event image © Martin O’Neill.



James Rhodes

Acclaimed concert pianist

Best-selling author, TV presenter, and celebrated concert pianist dedicated to bringing classical music into the twenty-first century. His sell-out concerts at pop music venues, with no coats and tails in sight, are bringing classical music to new audiences worldwide. He is the first core classical pianist to be signed to Warner Bros. Records, the world’s largest rock label. His biography Instrumental is being adapted for the big screen. It will be directed by Oscar-winning director James Marsh (Man on a Wire, Theory of Everything) and will feature Oscar-nominated actor Andrew Garfield in the principle role as James Rhodes. (Image © Richard Ansett)

Jarvis Cocker

Musician and broadcaster

Musician and broadcaster who was lead singer with Pulp for 34 years. He has also released two solo albums. His lyric collection, Mother, Brother, Lover, was published in 2011. Between 2009 and 2017 he presented the BBC 6 Music programme Jarvis Cocker’s Sunday Service, as well as the ongoing, award-winning BBC Radio 4 documentary series Wireless Nights. His second book, This Book Is A Song, will be published in 2020.

Katie Derham

Radio 3 presenter and face of the BBC Proms

Presenter on BBC Radio 3 and one of the station’s best known voices. She fronts its drive time programme In Tune on rotation with Sean Rafferty. She has also been the face of the BBC Proms since 2010. She spent the first 15 years of her broadcasting career in news and current affairs, first at the BBC then as ITV’s youngest ever newsreader.