Acclaim

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

The 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]

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

The Plain Dealer, November 2008 [Donald Rosenberg]

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.

TheGatheringNote, May 2009 [Philippa Kiraly]

[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]

[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]

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 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]

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]

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.

Kentucky.com, October 2009 [Loren Tice]

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]

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.

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

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.

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

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]

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

Tacoma Weekly, September 2007 [Conductor Christophe Chagnard]