[Joshua Roman’s cello concerto] Awakening is a substantial and compelling work. Skillfully varied with an attractive vein of lyricism, the composer maintains interest throughout the concerto’s contrasted sections.

Chicago Classical Review, October 2015 [Lawrence A. Johnson]

The centuries-old tradition of the composer-performer has pretty much fallen by the wayside in our increasingly specialized classical music era, when the creators and re-creators of music do their thing more or less independently, typically coming together only when it serves their purposes. The burgeoning dual career of Joshua Roman triumphantly defies that trend.

Chicago Tribune, October 2015 [John von Rhein]

Having established himself as a 2011 TED Fellow and a performer with a passionate interest in bringing new works to concert audiences, cellist Joshua Roman has gotten beyond the ‘rising artist’ stage. His star has definitely risen., September 2015 [Stephen Smoliar]

Roman chose poise and tenderness as his angle of attack, painting Dvorák’s brooding melodies with golden retrospection and mellowness of tone.

Scotsman, May 2014 [Ken Walton]

There was a clean, contemporary feeling to the 29-year-old’s playing that set him apart from many of the string players of a generation ago, from the singing but unsentimental tone he brought to lyric passages to the crisp, efficient manner with which he handled the most rapid strings of notes.

South Florida Classical Review, September 2013 [David Fleisher]

In addition to Ives, Villa-Lobos and Carter (the Elegy for Cello and Piano), Roman also played Roman. As he demonstrated in the other works, he is that too rare performer who is not only an exceptional musician, but plays with an open heart as well. There’s something authentic about Roman’s approach to his instrument and the sound he produces, and that same quality is also evident in his Riding Light. Indeed, the element that made this entire program so appealing was its human quality. It’s inevitably present in music, but rarely is it so evident. Let’s hear more.

San Diego Union-Tribune, August 2013 [James Chute]

Cellist Joshua Roman, a 29-year-old rising star, soloed in Antonin Dvořák’s Cello Concerto in B minor. In 2006, Roman became the principal cellist for the Seattle Symphony, almost unheard of for someone so young. Though he has since blossomed into a soloist and chamber musician, he played Friday with the instincts of an orchestral musician, matching phrasings, tempos and dynamic shifts with orchestral soloists and ensembles. His warm, sustained sound has a vocal quality to it, which served him well in the lyricism of the first movement and plaintive solos in the Adagio. Neale fashioned a fine balance – not always easy with the work’s heavy scoring – letting loose on orchestra-only passages and sweeping legato phrases while giving the soloist, small orchestral groups and full orchestral tutti equal partnership.

Birmingham News, April 2013 [Michael Huebner]

A vibrant young soloist that can toss off a difficult concerto as if it were children’s play.

Chicago classical Review, March 2013 [Dennis Polkow]

The 28-year old Roman held his own so bravely against the incessant soundtrack which Golijov has the orchestra lay down that the audience quickly fell in love with his musical intensity, good looks and tousled hair.

Huffington Post, November 2012 [Laurence Vittes]

He has performed with Yo-Yo Ma and may succeed him as the most famous cellist of the next generation.

Des Moines Register, April 2012 [Michael Morain]

Perhaps the first thing to be praised about SummerFest is the exceptionally high quality of performances. The players in the festival, which runs through Aug. 27, include well-known soloists and some of the nation’s top orchestra players. The ensemble for (John) Williams’ quartet were the famed violinist Cho-Liang Lin, music director of SummerFest; John Bruce Yeh, principal clarinet of the Chicago Symphony; Deborah Hoffman, principal harp of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; and Joshua Roman, a YouTube star. A modern musician himself, [John] Williams coached the ensemble through a Skype connection from Tanglewood.

Los Angeles Times, August 2011 [Mark Swed]

Arguably the country’s finest cellist… In terms of finding success at a young age, Joshua Roman might just be a modern-day Mozart. Considered one of the finest cellists in the country — and perhaps the world — making beautiful music is as natural as eating and sleeping for this young prodigy.

Seattleite, May 2011 [Norelle Done]

The concert (Brahms “Double” Concerto with the Everett Philharmonic) also featured two young musicians, rising stars in the world of classical music: virtuoso violinist James Garlick and cellist Joshua Roman, who is a former Seattle Symphony principal cellist who landed that job at the age of 22. …[For an encore] conductor Cobbs should have allowed for a duet between Garlick and Roman, who is also known as a ‘classical rock star.’

Daily Herald, May 2011 [Theresa Goffredo]

The 15 Best Radiohead Covers: Joshua Roman & DJ Spooky’s cello & iPad version of ‘Everything in Its Right Place’

Paste Magazine, May 2011 [Wyndham Wyeth]

(At Haydn Concerto No. 1 with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra) The 27-year-old cellist proved a strong attraction in the opening Haydn Cello Concerto in C and created a sensation in the following Variations on a Rococo Theme for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 33, by Tchaikovsky. Considered a “classical rock star,” Roman’s repertoire seemingly knows no boundaries, his delving as deeply into jazz and rock as in chamber music. Moreover he exudes a soft but beautifully controlled tone as well as a complete mastery of the notes… He got a thundering, standing ovation.”

NuVo, April 2011 [Tom Aldridge]

Roman is on the edge of a major career. He plays with lyrical genius, and as if in a meditative trance. His technique is limitless and his intensity and confidence are inspiring to hear. He is living evidence that one can be effective as a soloist without showy histrionics.

Connecticut Post, February 2011 [Jeffrey Johnson]

The ascendant rock star of the cello world.

Seattle Pi, February 2011 [David Tveite]

The three members of the trio – violinist Yuki Numata, cellist Joshua Roman and clarinetist Bill Kalinkos – are brilliant soloists. …[Ravel’s Sonata for Violin and Cello] is a magnificent piece with a range of dissonant harmonies, grounded by sensitive playing from cellist Roman, ethereal in its loveliness.

Palm Beach ArtsPaper, January 2011

Listed in Seattle’s Memorable Concerts of 2010: When cellist Joshua Roman first emerged on the local scene, audiences swooned over his boyish looks, marveled at his still developing technique, and went along with his haphazard programming ideas. These days Roman’s poise, curiosity, and refined velvety sound are what grip audiences. His partnership with friend and composer Dan Visconti is long standing and Americana was the first major piece he wrote for Roman. Visconti’s use of American ballads, songs, and effects are sure to keep it firmly in cellist’s repertory.

Gathering Note, December 2010 [Zach Carstensen]

A frequent collaborator with active composers and boundary-pushing artists, Roman’s enthusiasm for musical evolution is as contagious as his love for the classics.

Seattle Times, September 2010 [Tom Keogh]

Young cellist Joshua Roman returns after having electrified last year’s audience.

Bellingham Herald, July 2010 [Barbara Ryan]

Roman got things underway with Boccherini’s Cello Sonata #6 in A Major, G.4. He is starting to mature a bit and looks somewhat less like a 12-year-old. Maybe it’s just the glasses. One thing he has not lost is the boyish charm which, when added to his technical wizardry, have made him a superstar. This was demonstrated just prior to his launching into a particularly difficult passage. He gave the audience a little half-smile that seemed to say “Watch this!” It was definitely worth watching.

Entertainment News NW, July 2010 [Christopher Key]

Roman, helped by Huang, reached across hundreds of years of music on Thursday. They played Britten with the same vigor as Brahms. But for those people who loved Roman because he offered something fresh, different, and adventurous he delivered a stunner with ‘Americana’. If he can continue to replicate Thursday night’s concert experience, we just might look back at this recital as a pivotal moment in Roman’s career.

Gathering Note, June 2010 [Zach Carstensen]

His interpretation of the challenging second movement, “Adagio, molto sostenuto,” was exquisite, with nuanced phrasing and sonority.

Columbus Dispatch, April 2010 [Lynn Green]

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. Roman coaxes sounds of remarkable beauty from his instrument … 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, February 2010 [Joshua Kosman]

[For the premiere of his Cello Concerto] David Stock … was lucky, too, to have popular cellist Joshua Roman on hand, who can not only play anything but sell anything; the long cadenza, with his agile left hand scampering spider-like up and down the instrument, was electrifying.

Seattle Weekly, June 2009 + December 2009, Moments to Remember [Gavin Borchert]

TownMusic, Town Hall’s classical music series, found a good thing in Joshua Roman: a young artistic director whose main concern in life is moving forward, and taking along any audience willing to share the ride.

Seattle Metropolitan Magazine, 2009 [Steve Wieckling]

Another surprise was cello soloist Joshua Roman in Peter Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme. Roman has the reputation of being the rock star of modern-day stringers, but he won over the audience with boyish charm instead. He took what is a full-blown cello concerto and made it child’s play. Same with his solo encore, Mark Summer’s Julie-O, which made whimsical fun out of blues smears and bluegrass licks., October 2009 [Loren Tice]

[This] classical rock star has no intention of being an actual rock star, but there’s little doubt that he’s a new kind of classical star.

Lexington Herald-Leader, October 2009 [Rich Copley]

An understated rock star… Mr. Roman took the stage with a masterful performance of Antonin Dvorák’s Cello Concerto… His unquestionable stage presence did not take precedence over his prodigious talent.

Entertainment News NW, July 2009 [Christopher Key]

Roman’s solo part [in David Stock’s Cello Concerto] was an impressive display, particularly the long cadenza that bridges the second and third movements. His left hand became a manic spider and then climbed up into high, micro-thin harmonics. The plaintive, spiritual lines that dominate the finale (the composer quotes from liturgical music from Jewish high holy days) gave a deep, satisfying ending to the whole affair.

Seattle Times, June 2009 [John Sutherland]

A musician of imagination and expressive breadth.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, May 2009 [Louise Lee]

While he can throw off fireworks like any whiz-bang young soloist, Roman is essentially a thoughtful, thought-provoking and lyrical player.

Gathering Note, May 2009 [Philippa Kiraly]

Joshua is one of the great exemplars of the ideal 21st-century musician. He is deeply grounded in a classical tradition and he is a fearless explorer or our world.

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma, April 2009

If ever a 25-year-old man could convincingly be the mouthpiece of the Mother of God, Joshua Roman is he. The former Seattle Symphony principal, now launched on a solo career, not only showed enormous capability for tone and technique but infused the stage with a halo of perfect calm that lifted [John Taverner’s Protecting Veil] … into a highly spiritual realm. Roman’s tone Saturday night was nothing short of vocal … [he] handled all technical tricks with ease, possessing the piece with a yogic calm that echoed the heavenly stillness of the main melody. Mary’s lament for her Son on the cross was breathtaking, Roman’s bow dancing over the strings like a swallow through the chromatic Byzantine tonality … As the solo line ran out to its final, incredibly high vanishing point, the audience sat spellbound.

News Tribune, Tacoma, WA, March 2009 [Rosemary Ponnekanti]

He is a rangy, curly-headed musician who towers over the instrument even as he draws ample poetry from its strings.

Plain Dealer, November 2008 [Donald Rosenberg]

Roman’s virtuosic technique and quiet intensity illuminated this difficult piece [George Crumb’s Sonata for Solo Cello] from within, so that its disconnected tones and textures became a thing of beauty. Roman transformed a lengthy pizzicato sequence into a cascade of popping bubbles and drew tones from his cello that seemed like shafts of light.

Seattle Times, October 2008 [Sumi Hahn]

An extraordinary musical talent … He produced a rich, cultured baritone voice from his cello, and with a plethora of contrasts and gradations between pianissimo and fortissimo. The suppleness and ease of control he wielded ensured a singing line throughout, never an ugly sound or accent out of place.

Straits Times (Singapore), May 2008 [Chang Tou Liang]

A performer as charismatic as he is technically and musically talented, he played John Tavener’s The Protecting Veil on this occasion as wonderfully as ever, with commandingly incisive phrasing, and a tone that never lost focus or emotional power in the 45-minute work’s almost unrelievedly high solo register.

MusicWeb International, March 2008 [Bernard Jacobson]

He has a rare combination of natural talent, enthusiasm and strength.

Tacoma Weekly, September 2007 [Conductor Christophe Chagnard]

With an opening recital by cellist Joshua Roman, one of the major stars on the Northwest music scene, things were off to a terrific start. Roman, principal cellist of the Seattle Symphony, played the third of Britten’s challenging solo Suites for Cello with such a sure musical sense and such a strongly characterized interpretation that there was literally nothing left to wish for. The tremendous contrasts between the suite’s propulsive sections and the serenity of the folksong material created a great deal of drama, and Roman’s technique was always remarkable. The incredible speed of the Moto Perpetuo: Presto movement made The Flight of the Bumblebee sound like The Flight of the Musk Ox in comparison.

Seattle Times, August 2007 [Melinda Bargreen]

Everything he did he did with poise and equanimity, technical difficulties flying away as if they were nothing … He is a musician of imagination and expressive breadth.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, March 2007 [R.M. Campbell]