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This Spring, Cellist Joshua Roman Plays Bates Concerto with Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and Features LA Composers in Recital

Cellist Joshua Roman – “a switched-on, tuned-in classical musician of the early 21st century” (Chicago Tribune) and “a masterful player who brings curiosity and electrical energy to every note” (Cleveland Plain Dealer) – heads to southern California this spring to renew his longstanding acquaintance with the City of Angels. During a weeklong residency with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra that marks his debut with the ensemble, he will give recitals, participate in community outreach programs, and perform Mason Bates’s Cello Concerto at venues around the city (April 14-23). The concerto is dedicated to Roman, who gave its “world-class world premiere” (Seattle Times) with the Seattle Symphony last season and has since performed it in Texas and Oklahoma. In California, he looks forward to reprising the concerto at UCLA and in Glendale. In addition, he explains, “very excitingly, we’re playing it in several schools, which is a great opportunity to share new music with kids.” During the residency, Roman will also give a recital of Bach suites at LA’s Zipper Hall, a concert of contemporary solo and chamber music by LA-based composers at Santa Monica’s Hear Now Festival, and a special performance at iconic independent record store Amoeba Music in Hollywood.

Roman is no stranger to Los Angeles, having appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, worked with Street Symphony and Vijay Gupta, and played in homeless facilities and the LA county jail. He also enjoys a close connection with neighboring Santa Barbara, through his work with the Music Academy of the West, UC Santa Barbara, and the Santa Barbara Symphony. Of his upcoming LACO residency, the cellist says:

“Along with many classical musicians, I think I’ve considered LA an area of mostly movie composers, and in recent years, it’s become apparent to me that this is only a small slice of the music scene in LA. I have several friends who are in LA composing, and more are moving out there every year. After working with the LACO on this program, I’ve realized that LA is a thriving environment for new music and classical music.”

Earlier this season Roman premiered Awakening, his own cello concerto – recognized as “a substantial and compelling work” by Chicago Classical Review – with the Illinois Philharmonic and ProMusica Chamber Orchestra of Columbus, the co-commissioning orchestras. As Artistic Director of Seattle’s TownMusic series, the multi-talented musician also conducted soprano Jessica Rivera in the Seattle premiere of we do it to one another, his song cycle based on Tracy K. Smith’s Pulitzer Prize-winning poetry collection, Life on Mars. Click here to see a video of “Strung Up” from the TownMusic performance, made by KING-FM’s new music station Second Inversion, where Roman serves as Artistic Advisor.

Rounding out the spring for Roman are two more California engagements: a performance of Dvorák’s Cello Concerto with the Sacramento Philharmonic, conducted by Edwin Outwater, and a special appearance with the San Francisco Girls Chorus that will feature another of the cellist’s new compositions. As the Chicago Tribune said in a recent profile: “The centuries-old tradition of the composer-performer has pretty much fallen by the wayside … [but] the burgeoning dual career of Joshua Roman triumphantly defies that trend.

High-resolution photos can be downloaded here.

Joshua Roman: upcoming engagements

April 9
Sacramento, CA
Sacramento Philharmonic / Edwin Outwater
Community Center Theater
Dvorák: Cello Concerto

April 10
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco Girls Chorus
Herbst Theatre

April 14-23
Los Angeles, CA
Residency with Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

April 16
Glendale, CA
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra / Matthew Halls
Alex Theatre
Mason Bates: Cello Concerto

April 17
Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra / Matthew Halls
Royce Hall, UCLA
Mason Bates: Cello Concerto

April 20
Los Angeles, CA
Amoeba Music

April 21
Los Angeles, CA
Zipper Hall
Bach: Suite No. 3 in C, BWV 1009
Bach: Suite No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1008
Bach: Suite No. 6 in D, BWV 1012

April 23
Santa Monica, CA
Hear Now Festival
Adam Schoenberg: ayudame
Jefferson Friedman: Quintet
Isaac Schankler: Oscillations
Reena Esmail: Teen Murti
Gernot Wolfgang: Open Spaces
Andrew Tholl: hitting things won’t solve your problems (but it might make you feel better)
Hugh Levick: Tierra Del Fuego

May 24
Seattle, WA
Town Hall
Britten: String Quartet No. 2 in C, Op. 36
(With Arnaud Sussman, violin; Karen Gomyo, violin; and Kyle Armbrust, viola)

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© 21C Media Group, March 2016

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