Joshua Roman is a solo cellist, accomplished composer, and curator whose performances embrace musical styles from Bach to Radiohead.
PHOTO CREDIT: Hayley Young
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 and left only two years later.
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 that “Roman’s outstanding performance of the cello concerto is the disc’s highlight… Roman’s extraordinary performance 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 other 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 creating “On Grace” with Tony Award-nominated actor Anna Deavere Smith. His compositions are inspired by sources such as the poetry of Pulitzer Prize Tracy K. Smith, and musicians he writes for, such as the JACK Quartet, violinist Vadim Gluzman, and conductor David Danzmayr. In order to continue 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.