“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
“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.”
“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?”
“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 cellist, accomplished composer and curator whose performances embrace musical styles from Bach to Radiohead. Before setting off on his unique path as a soloist, Roman was the Seattle Symphony’s principal cellist – a job he began at just 22 years of age and left only two years later. He has since become renowned for his genre-bending repertoire and wide-ranging collaborations. Roman was named a TED Senior Fellow in 2015. His live performance of the complete Six Suites for Solo Cello by J.S. Bach on TED’s Facebook Page garnered nearly one million live viewers, with millions more for his Main Stage TED Talks/Performances, including an improvisational performance with Tony-winner/MacArthur Genius Grant recipient Bill T. Jones and East African vocalist Somi.
A Gramophone review of his 2017 recording of Aaron Jay Kernis’s Cello Concerto (written for Roman) proclaimed that “Roman’s extraordinary performance combines the expressive control of Casals with the creative individuality and virtuoso flair of Hendrix himself.” Recent highlights include performing standard and new concertos with the Colorado, Detroit, Jacksonville, Milwaukee, and San Francisco Symphonies. In addition to his other orchestral appearances Roman has collaborated with the JACK, St. Lawrence, and Verona Quartets and brings the same fresh approach to chamber music projects to his own series, Town Music at Town Hall Seattle.
Joshua Roman’s adventurous spirit has led to collaborations with artists outside the music community, including creating “On Grace” with Tony-nominated actor Anna Deavere Smith. His compositions are inspired by sources such as the poetry of Pulitzer Prize-winner Tracy K. Smith, and the musicians he writes for, such as the JACK Quartet, violinist Vadim Gluzman, and conductor David Danzmayr. Roman’s endeavors outside the concert hall have taken him to Uganda with his violin-playing siblings, where they played chamber music in schools, HIV/AIDS centers and displacement camps.