5 speakers 15 minutes each

James Rhodes

Instrumental

Until the age of 14, James had no formal academic musical education or dedicated mentoring. Aged 18 he stopped playing the piano entirely for a decade. Since returning to the piano, he has released five albums, all of which have topped the iTunes classical charts. James has presented a Chopin documentary for BBC4 and had his own television series James Rhodes: Piano Man on Sky Arts. Last year James filmed a two-part documentary for Channel 4 called ‘Don’t Stop The Music’ which gave schoolchildren the chance to learn a musical instrument by calling for an 'instrument amnesty' - a mission to collect unused musical instruments from around the country which raised over £1 million of instruments for primary schools in the UK. His memoir, Instrumental, was recently published by Canongate. It is a brutally honest, moving and compelling story that was almost banned until the Supreme Court unanimously overthrew an injunction in May 2015.

Photo credit: Dave Brown