James Rhodes

With his autobiography Instrumental, James Rhodes may well have achieved the impossible - writing a first-hand account of child abuse and its terrible legacy that is not just desperately needed, but is also readable and, well, even funny.
Instrumental quite rightly reminds us that no matter how offenders try to excuse their appalling behaviour it is never the child's fault - the survivor has absolutely nothing to apologise for. But the road to recovery is frequently bumpy, sometimes tortuous but always worth the journey, which is why we need far more investment in therapeutic and mental health services.
For decades politicians have put education at the top of the agenda. But we seem to have ended up with a target and league-table based system, and a too-narrow focus. Head teachers are under tremendous pressure to ensure that targets around literacy and numeracy are met... From what I've seen, creativity in the curriculum is being squeezed hard.
It's not often that I get excited about a classical music concert. Too often they're staid and aloof. But it's all so different when James Rhodes is playing and this week sees him kicking off a packed schedule with a string of shows at Soho Theatre.
The show itself was almost like a James Rhodes' mixtape - a collection of short pieces from a range of James' favourite composers. Indeed even the man himself hinted at such an approach when he stood up next to his piano and bashfully said that the theme he'd picked for the evening was "Love", surely the only true reason any mixtape has been made?
Classical music is obsessed with the past to the point that it believes in its own death - or at least it's sufficiently concerned about its health to feel threatened by an event as irrelevant as the Classic Brits.
This morning I sat down to listen to Radio 3's Discovering Music on Beethoven's Emperor Concerto. If you haven't heard it, it examines a piece of music in depth. Fantastically enlightening unless you have a 14-month-old baby or an escaped lunatic living in your house.
Apologies for the rambling thoughts below, but I feel as though they should be aired to gauge a wider opinion. At this point
What is it about classical music that makes us lose words? What is it about it that we find so hard to articulate or to explain? What is it about it that reduces even Stephen Fry - Stephen Fry, the reason the word 'polymath' is still in the dictionary - to an incoherent, pretentious train wreck?