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July 2, 2015 No Comments

If music be the food of love.. James Rhodes, child rape and redemption

James Rhodes is one of the most gifted classical pianists of his generation. His interpretation of both Chopin and Rachmaninov are some of the most emotional and technically brilliant I have ever heard.

Yet for ten years in the middle of his forty-year life he never played a note.

He had been deeply traumatised by being child raped from the age of 6 to 10 years of age. His rapist was his boxing and PE coach. A teacher who found him crying, with blood trickling down his legs suspected there was something wrong but never imagined rape.

James has been through hell in his eventual recovery – drug abuse, attempted suicide, and depression so acute that he had at one point to be institutionalised.

The decade in which he never played finally ended when by chance in Italy, attempting to become a music agent, his host discovered he could play. He was the man who become both his mentor and his teacher.

Today, married for a second time, he played a London concert last week ahead of a major tour in the autumn.

I’ve been to meet James Rhodes.

It proved to be one of the most emotional and ultimately uplifting reporting experiences of my life.

Enjoy it with me.

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July 1, 2015 No Comments

Two terrorists who shocked the world

The world must focus on the true factors behind the brutal terrorist attacks that killed 66 people in Tunisia and Kuwait last week.

June 18, 2015 No Comments

‘Culture, history, suffering’ – the heartfelt music of Paco Peña

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June 16, 2015 13 Comments

Edward Snowden: publishing the position of the government?

To claim Russian and Chinese intelligence had cracked the encryption of Ed Snowden’s files, without a scintilla of evidence and series of “we don’t knows”, is going some.

June 9, 2015 14 Comments

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May 27, 2015 3 Comments

My naked Swiss arrest and some questions for Fifa

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May 21, 2015 3 Comments

Love, loss and pobbling with Vikram Seth

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April 16, 2015 10 Comments

Will Lord Janner’s alleged victims have their day in court?

The DPP says Lord Janner’s dementia renders him incapable of standing trial on charges of historic child sex abuse. But is the DPP right?

April 9, 2015 47 Comments

Election 2015: Political exuberance in Scotland, indecision and indifference elsewhere

Outside Scotland widespread alienation of voters from politics means the upcoming election has failed to engage the public.

April 8, 2015 3 Comments

Iran nuclear deal: a picture that said a thousand words

Only those versed in Iranian political custom immediately understood the symbolism of a social call made by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.

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