Daybreak: “Not another misery memoir”

Daybreak’s book for the month of November is actually two books, both written by the English pianist James Rhodes. His memoir Instrumental and the follow-up book Fire on All Sides.

In his memoir Instrumental, James Rhodes gives a frank and at times unsettling account of a life marred by childhood trauma. But according to Anna Hunt, from Marsden Books in Wellington, this is “not just another misery memoir”.

Anna, who has become a fan of James Rhodes since reading Instrumental, says that alongside Rhodes’ detailing of the childhood abuse he suffered is the music that saved him.

In Fire on All Sides, Rhodes’ follow-up book, he takes us ‘on the road’ with him as a touring concert pianist. He has his own record label and a growing fan base, and yet the demons remain.

“Both of these books are essentially about the power of music, ” says Anna.

James Rhodes is a prominent advocate for classical music as a companion to our times. He is especially concerned with bringing classical music out of its ‘ivory tower’ and encouraging younger people to discover it and love it as much as he does.

If you would like to win these books, Instrumental and Fire on All Sides by James Rhodes, email daybreak@radionz.co.nz and tell us what was the piece that made you fall in love with classical music?

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