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Classical 101

Pianist James Rhodes: "Stop Apologizing For Classical Music"

James Rhodes is an outspoken, unapologetic critic of the way Classical music is presented and portrayed in the 21st century.  He says there seems to be two schools of thought. "Classical Music for Dummies," which gives listeners no credit for having taste and the ability to understand the music they hear, and the pretentious approach, which essentially says, if you don't "get" Stockhausen, Cage, or Varese, you're just not with it. Rhodes calls the"pomp and pretentiousness" that surrounds Classical music as the very thing which is spelling it's demise. The pianist's style reflects his attitude. You will not see him walk onstage wearing white tie, tux, and tails.  Rather, he favors blue jeans, cross trainers, and pullovers.  He says most evenings will find him doing what most others do, "watching X-Factor, eating chicken from a bucket, checking e-mails, and playing angry birds on his iPhone."