Raincoast Books

What Will You Read Next?


A Memoir of Madness, Medication, and Music


Bloomsbury USA
Available: 02/07/17
5.79 x 8.46 · 304 pages
CDN $36.00 · cl
With dust jacket

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James Rhodes

A mesmeric combination of vivid, keen, obsessive precision and raw, urgent energy." - Zoe Williams, Guardian

"Thrilling and harrowing . . . Unsurpassed and unsurpassable." - Sunday Times

James Rhodes's passion for music has been his lifeline - the thread that has held through a life encompassing abuse and turmoil. But whether listening to Rachmaninov on a loop as a traumatized teenager or discovering a Bach adagio while in a hospital ward, he survived his demons by encounters with musical miracles. These - along with a chance encounter with a stranger - inspired him to become the renowned concert pianist he is today.

Instrumental is a memoir like no other: unapologetically candid, boldly outspoken, and surprisingly funny - shot through with a mordant wit, even in its darkest moments. A feature film adaptation of Rhodes's incredible story is now in development from Monumental Pictures and BBC Films, following a competitive bidding war involving major U.S. and U.K. companies.

An impassioned tribute to the therapeutic powers of music, Instrumental also weaves in fascinating facts about how classical music actually works and about the extraordinary lives of some of the great composers. It explains why and how music has the potential to transform all of our lives.

James Rhodeshad no formal music education until age fourteen. At eighteen, he stopped playing the piano entirely for a decade. But since returning, he has released five albums, all of which topped the iTunes classical charts. He performs in halls around the world and has made TV programs in the U.K. for the BBC, Sky, and Channel 4. His TV documentary Don't Stop the Music raised over Pounds1 million for instruments in U.K. primary schools. Rhodes lives in London. @JRhodesPianist