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This Summer, Cellist Joshua Roman Takes On New Curatorial Role at Colorado Music Festival

Cellist Joshua Roman – currently in his ninth season as Artistic Director of Seattle’s TownMusic series and his second as the inaugural Artistic Director of that city’s contemporary music streaming channel Second Inversion – takes on a new curatorial role as Creative Partner of the Colorado Music Festival & Center for Musical Arts (CMF & CMA) this summer. In addition to giving a CMF performance with pianist Orion Weiss at Boulder’s storied Chautauqua Auditorium, presenting cello and piano works by Janáček, Takemitsu and Schubert, as well as Brahms’s First Piano Quartet (July 15), he curates a series of three concerts on three consecutive Saturdays at the multi-disciplinary arts hub, the Dairy Arts Center. The concerts unite leading figures from music, literature, and modern dance in three engaging and thought-provoking programs that explore themes of identity, inclusiveness, diversity, and community. Featured artists include Pulitzer Prize-winner Tracy K. Smith and spoken-word poet, dancer, and playwright Marc Bamuthi Joseph. On the first program, “Poetry in Performance,” Roman conducts his own song cycle, we do it to one another, composed to poems by Smith and performed by soprano Jessica Rivera.

The CMF & CMA, a world-class summer music festival and community music school under one organizational umbrella, also sponsored Roman this past April at the 68th Annual Conference on World Affairs on the University of Colorado campus, where he contributed his innovative ideas about how classical music is conceived and presented to four panels over two days.

This past month, the multi-faceted cellist, who is a Senior TED Fellow, also curated an outdoor amphitheater performance at June’s TED Summit at Banff in the Canadian Rockies. Performers for the evening included three TED Fellows: Nigerian-American poet and recording artist Iyeoka; Kenyan electro-funk rocker Bill “Blinky” Sellanga; and Pakistani percussive guitarist Usman Riaz. In addition to premiering his new composition based on Iyoeka’s poetry, Roman created arrangements for the artists, including some Prince covers, as well as organizing collaborations and overseeing flow of the performances.  Future highlights of his summer include a performance of Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with the Shippensburg Festival Symphony in Pennsylvania, and two chamber music performances for Bay Chamber Concerts in Rockport, Maine, with repertoire ranging from Bach to Britten.

Roman – “a masterful player who brings curiosity and electrical energy to every note” (Cleveland Plain Dealer) – was in Los Angeles this spring for a week-long residency with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra that marked his debut with the ensemble. Besides giving workshops and special performances during the residency, he performed Mason Bates’s Cello Concerto at venues around the city. Bates has dedicated the concerto to Roman, who gave its “world-class world premiere” (Seattle Times) last season with the Seattle Symphony, an ensemble Roman played with for two seasons after winning the principal cello position in 2006 when he was just 22. Last season, he 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 his eclectic career path abundantly attests, Roman is truly “a switched-on, tuned-in classical musician of the early 21st century” (Chicago Tribune).

High-resolution photos can be downloaded here.


Joshua Roman: summer engagements

July 15
Lafayette, CO
Colorado Music Festival
“21st Century Virtuosos: Joshua Roman and Orion Weiss in Concert”
JANÁČEK: Pohádka
SCHUBERT: Sonata for Arpeggione and Piano, D. 821
BRAHMS: Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor
With Orion Weiss, piano; Colorado Music Festival musicians

July 16
Boulder, CO
Gordon Gamm Theater at the Dairy Arts Center
“we do it to one another”: Poetry in Performance
ROMAN: we do it to one another
MESSIAEN: Quartet for the End of Time
With Joshua Roman, cello and conductor; Jessica Rivera, soprano; David Kaplan, piano; CMF musicians

July 21
Shippensburg, PA
Luhrs Performing Arts Center
BEETHOVEN: Concerto for Violin, Cello, and Piano in C major
Shippensburg Festival Symphony / Robert Treviño, conductor
With Caroline Goulding, violin; Julia Siciliano, piano

July 28
Rockport, ME
Bay Chamber Concerts
Rockport Opera House
BRITTEN: Phantasy Quartet, Op. 2 for oboe, violin, viola, and cello
HANDEL/HALVORSEN: Passacaglia for cello and violin
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: Piano Quintet in C minor
With Geoff Nuttall, violin; Livia Sohn, violin; James Austin Smith, oboe

July 29
Rockport, ME
Bay Chamber Concerts
Union Hall
Baroque Repertoire
TELEMANN Suite for 2 Violins “Gulliver’s Travels”, TWV 40:108
TELEMANN “Don Quixote” Suite, TWV 55: G10
J.S. BACH Gamba Sonata No. 2 in D major, BWV 1028
J.S. BACH Oboe d’amore Concerto in A major, BWV 1055
With Geoff Nuttall, violin; Livia Sohn, violin; Danny Kim, viola; Brian Ellingsen, double bass; James Austin Smith, oboe; Ilya Poletaev, harpsichord

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© 21C Media Group, June 2016

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