Joshua Roman is a solo cellist, accomplished composer, and curator whose performances embrace musical styles from Bach to Radiohead. Roman was named a TED Senior Fellow in 2015 and is currently the Las Vegas Philharmonic’s inaugural Artist-In-Residence. Before setting off on his unique path as a soloist, Roman was the Seattle Symphony’s principal cellist—a job he won at 22. He has since earned renown for genre-bending repertoire and wide-ranging collaborations. His performance of the complete Six Suites for Solo Cello by J.S. Bach on TED’s Facebook Page garnered 980,000 live viewers, with millions more for his Main Stage TED Talks/Performances, including an improvisational performance with Tony-winner/MacArthur Genius Bill T. Jones and East African vocalist Somi.
A Gramophone review of his recording of Aaron Jay Kernis’s Cello Concerto (written for Roman) proclaimed, “Roman’s outstanding performance of the cello concerto is the disc’s highlight… [He] combines the expressive control of Casals with the creative individuality and virtuoso flair of Hendrix himself.” In recent seasons, Roman made returns to the California, Detroit, Jacksonville, Omaha, and San Francisco Symphonies, as well as ProMusica Chamber Orchestra in Columbus where he premiered his Double Concerto with violinist Vadim Gluzman. In addition to his orchestral appearances, Roman works with violinist Tessa Lark and bassist Edgar Meyer and has collaborated with the JACK, St. Lawrence, and Verona Quartets. He brought his signature fresh approach to his own series as well, Town Music at Town Hall Seattle, during his 15 year tenure which concluded in June of 2022.
Roman’s adventurous spirit has led to collaborations with artists outside the music community, including “On Grace,” created with Tony Award-nominated actor Anna Deavere Smith. His compositions are inspired by sources such as the poetry of Tracy K. Smith and the musicians he writes for, including the JACK Quartet, violinist Vadim Gluzman, and conductor David Danzmayr. Continuing the legacy of cellists from Pablo Casals through Mstislav Rostropovich and Yo-Yo Ma, Roman also recently founded vox cello, which strives to cultivate and promote the cello as an instrument of peace.