Acclaimed American cellist Joshua Roman who graces the Lionel Wendt stage on September 26 in a special concert for the Sunera Foundation with pianist Eshantha Peiris will perform a programme designed to delight classical musical lovers.
Starting with Schubert’s “Arpeggione” Sonata to Bach’s Solo Suite No. 02, to Summer’s Julie-O (Solo), it includes Ginastera’s Pampeana No. 02, Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise, Bartok’s Romanian Folk Dances, Saint-Saens’s The Swan and to round it off Popper’s Hungarian Rhapsody.
Growing up in the suburbs of Oklahoma City, the son of a church choir director and violin-teacher mother, the young Joshua was home-schooled along with his three younger siblings and began playing the cello at a very young age.
He began formal music study at age three, not with a cellist but a violinist!
Roman’s academic career took him at age 16 to the Cleveland Institute of Music where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in cello performance in 2004 and his master’s in 2005, studying first under Richard Aron and then with Hoebig in 2006.
At age 22, Roman won the principal cellist job with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra – the youngest principal player in that orchestra’s history and in 2007, played Jean Barriere’s ‘Sonata for Two Cellos in G Major’ together with Yo-Yo Ma.
He is also artistic director of TownMusic, an experimental chamber music series hosted by Seattle’s Town Hall, a cultural centre that features diverse programmes and very recently received the 2011 TED fellowship.
His solo career has taken the 27-year-old virtuoso across the US and much of the globe, performing with leading orchestras as well as chamber music performances and collaborations with other leading musicians. A great proponent of new media to promote and encourage participation in classical music, he was the only guest artist invited to play an unaccompanied solo during the YouTube Symphony Orchestra’s debut concert in 2009, introduced in a video by cello superstar Yo-Yo Ma.
In 2008, Joshua Roman released his first recording ‘Ballad’, a collection of works ranging from an arrangement of Rachmaninoff’s ‘Vocalise’ to Chopin’s ‘Polonaise Brillante’.
In July 2010, Roman performed at both the world premiere in Seattle and the New York City premiere of a piece composed for him by fellow Cleveland Institute of Music graduate Dan Visconti.
The five-movement composition entitled ‘Americana’ is based on lines of texts from patriotic folk songs, combining elements from American hymns, sea shanties, civil rights marches and even Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix.
His performance in Colombo on Monday, September 26 is in aid of the Sunera Foundation.