John Rhodes

John Rhodes was born, of German parents, near Brighton in 1952, moved to London aged 8 and lived there until 2006 when he moved to Zurich to take a job with a Swiss law firm.

John’s love of classical music centres around Romantic German music, Mahler, Bruckner, Richard Strauss etc. but has expanded over the years to Shostakovich, Janacek, Sibelius and more. For the last five years he has sung in the Gemischter Chor ( which is Zurich’s oldest and probably best amateur choir, singing – often with the Tonhalle Orchestra where the work demands – in the Tonhalle twice a year at least. Recent works have included Britten’s War Requiem , Mendelssohn’s Elijah and all the old war horses (Bach B Minor MassThe Creation, the MessiahMissa Solemnis).

As a treble chorister in the Highgate School Choir in the 1960s, he sang and recorded the War Requiem conducted by Benjamin Britten. He also sang the work in performance innumerable times, in the UK and once abroad (Lisbon). Still with the boys’ choir, he sang in Mahler’s 3rd Symphony at the Festival Hall, Mahler’s 8thSymphony at the Albert Hall and in Parsifal at Covent Garden.  John played violin in the school and University orchestra.

At the age of 15 John lived for two years near Düsseldorf and regularly visited the opera house there, and that in nearby Cologne, and became acquainted with German opera, particularly Wagner and Richard Strauss.

At University in Exeter (studying law) he joined the Choir and sang a number of standard choral works.

John started work as a commercial lawyer in London in 1974 and became a very regular concert-goer and opera-goer. He had a Proms season ticket (usually standing at the back of the Arena) for many years. He attended concerts at the Festival Hall (those wonderfully cheap choir seats) at least twice a week, was a Friend of the LSO and the Philharmonia, and saw very many operas from the “Gods” (Amphitheatre) at Covent Garden and ENO He occasionally went to Glyndebourne and travelled abroad for the Salzburg, Lucerne and Bayreuth Festivals. He also went several times to Berlin in the days of Karajan.

John is married, with two teenage children.