“The soloist was Joshua Roman, a cellist of ­extraordinary technical and musical gifts. His ­Symphony debut, in fact, was so striking in so many ways that it left a listener eager for something more….It’s rare to hear a cellist tear through this high-flying ­passagework so ­beautifully and ­precisely – with never a note out of tune or out of place— and rarer still to hear it done with such ­offhanded ­panache.”

San Francisco Chronicle

“…a cellist of bold ­character and poetic grace…a ­masterful ­player who brings ­curiosity and ­electrical ­energy to every note.“

The Plain Dealer

“The CPO was lucky to have cello phenom Joshua Roman as their soloist, as one can hardly imagine a finer protagonist for this genre-spanning score. Roman has spent much of his young career straddling styles and innovating in the spaces between them, and was unphased by the significant demands Tan places on the soloist. From the languid erhu-channeling slides of the opening, to the use of a metallic pick to evoke a pipa sonority on the cello, Roman was a commanding solo presence, clearly enjoying himself as he performed the involved solo part from memory.”

Chicago Classical Review

“Roman, for whom the Cello Concerto was ­composed, played as if he owned it, with a fine ­balance of brilliance and expressivity.”

The Dallas Morning News

“Roman, though, provided the main share of showmanship, coursing through the fast outer movements of the Schumann with a blend of precision and almost improvisatory freedom. In the central slow movement, he brought out a vein of sensuous melancholy that went straight to the heart.”

SF Chronicle

“He regaled the enthralled house with an ­encore best ­described as a spontaneous combustion of styles, ­performed with all the intensity of a rock ­guitar soloist. This was a ­dazzlingly fast, ­improvisatory romp through folksy fiddling, ­furious strumming and chording, and ­staccato percussive ­effects I never thought possible with a cello. Was that smoke I saw rising from his bow?”

Cleveland Classical

“The evening’s program, led by conductor Jader Bignamini, opened with the Dvorak Concerto in B minor for Cello and Orchestra, featuring cellist Joshua Roman. Roman used a fascinating palette of ­dynamics, ­colors and textures along with tremendous musical momentum and finesse to create an ­absolutely ­captivating interpretation of the piece. He answered his applause with a delightful encore of Mark ­Summer’s wildly creative “Julie-O,” blending folk, pop and rock sounds.”

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“Roman’s flawless cello lines were seemingly effortless expressions of a soul captivated by some great beauty.”

The Columbus Dispatch

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.

MARCH 2023