Inspired by a unique collaboration for Princeton University Concert's new series Healing With Music, Immunity is an intimate musical exploration of cellist Joshua Roman’s life-altering, inspiring experience of ongoing long COVID, with music ranging from J.S. Bach to George Crumb to Caroline Shaw, as well as Roman’s own compositions. The program combines performance and storytelling into an emotional journey, as the cellist confronts the impact of the illness and the limitations that nearly ended his career, before progressing through a period of doubt, struggle, refocus, and renewal, culminating in a profound acceptance of self and a deeper connection to what's most important in life.
by Joshua Roman | TEDxProvidence
An intimate musical exploration of cellist Joshua Roman’s life-altering, inspiring experience of ongoing long COVID. Roman combines performance and storytelling into an emotional journey, as he confronts the impact of the illness and the limitations that nearly ended his career, before progressing through a period of doubt, struggle, refocus, and renewal, culminating in a profound acceptance of self and a deeper connection to what is most important in life.
Extraordinary cellist and TED Senior Fellow Joshua Roman—the epitome of health prior to the pandemic—has suffered from long-haul COVID-19 syndrome since January 2021. Even amidst debilitating fatigue, he has since dedicated himself to a vigorous touring schedule with a renewed sense of gratitude and urgency. An avid believer in the healing power of music, Roman came to Princeton University Concerts to explore the role that music has played throughout his continued recovery as part of their Healing with Music series.
In addition to a renewed sense of commitment to sharing music, the strong desire to bring art and life together in real time led him to the creation of this project. Over the next 2-3 years, Immunity will include an album, videos, collaborations, and concert / conversations in a variety of venues from traditional classical halls to living rooms and digital platforms. Immunity takes Roman's unique ability to connect with audiences of all kinds and melds it with his affinity for thoughtful curation that speaks to the moment, his articulate and easygoing stage presence, and his powerful virtuosity.
Joining the Juilliard School as a Creative Associate for the 2023-24 academic year, Joshua will be workshopping collaborations for Immunity and mentoring students across all three of Juilliard's disciplines (music, dance, drama). Joshua will guide them through their own collaborations and focus on how vulnerability can help us create deeper, more meaningful connections and art. These collaborations will culminate in a performance at the Chelsea Factory on February 22nd, where he will present alongside the students who participate in the program and will have a moderated discussion.
In the fall 2023 semester, Joshua coached a cello choir of Juilliard students for "vox celli", a multimedia concert experience in collaboration with Juilliard's Center for Innovation in the Arts. The performance took place in Peter Jay Sharp Theater, where the cellists performed works by Arvo Pärt, Gity Razaz, Heitor Villa-Lobos, and Julius Eastman, joined by students from the vocal program. Through his role as a Creative Associate, Joshua guides the students to a deeper understanding of themselves and the art they make, and confidence in bringing more of their unique humanity and creativity into their careers.
Immunity will be flexible depending on audience, format, collaborators, and venue. The program will include:
Immunity will be recorded in Summer of 2023 for release as an album, with producer Adam Abeshouse. Adam has received multiple Grammys for his engineering and producing, and happens to also be going through his own long COVID experience. All costs associated with the production of the album will go through the Classical Recording Foundation and be eligible as tax-deductible gifts.