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Concert pianist James Rhodes: ‘Playing piano is like dating a really hot girl’

PUBLISHED: 13:00 30 March 2014

Pianist James Rhodes visit to William Ellis School 18.03.14. with Yr 7 students David Vachev, (11), Kai Ryan (12), Naz Abshir (12), Ervin Hajdarmata (11), and Bradley Barnes (12). Picture: Polly Hancock

Pianist James Rhodes visit to William Ellis School 18.03.14. with Yr 7 students David Vachev, (11), Kai Ryan (12), Naz Abshir (12), Ervin Hajdarmata (11), and Bradley Barnes (12). Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

A renowned concert pianist told pupils that practicing the piano is like “dating a really hot girl” as he performed at a school last week.

James Rhodes, who is well-known for his informal recitals at venues normally associated with rock bands, visited William Ellis School, in Highgate Road, to play a selection of pieces on the school’s Steinway piano last week.

The pianist, who grew up in St John’s Wood, also spoke to 200 pupils about his journey from troubled man to rising star, and of his struggles with mental illness.

Stephen Jackman, head of music, invited Mr Rhodes to play at the school after hearing him speak about a documentary he is making about music education. “He said to them, ‘practicing the piano is like dating a really hot girl’,” Mr Jackman said. “The students’ reaction was amazing.”

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