Cellist, pianist team up for Los Alamos concert - Albuquerque Journal

Cellist, pianist team up for Los Alamos concert

Cellist Joshua Roman will perform on Friday in a recital sponsored by the Los Alamos Concert Association. (Courtesy of Jeremy Sawatzky)
Cellist Joshua Roman will perform on Friday in a recital sponsored by the Los Alamos Concert Association. (Courtesy of Jeremy Sawatzky)

Cellist Joshua Roman has played with a number of pianists during his career, and one of his favorites is Andrius Zlabys.

“We went to school together in Cleveland and started playing recitals together two years ago,” Roman explained by phone from Chicago. “He’s an especially good listener. When he plays, even when it’s quiet, it feels like we’re connected at the brain. He really knows how to make chamber music. He’s not just an accompanist for me.”

Roman and Zlabys team up to present a recital of works by Igor Stravinsky, Sergei Prokofiev, Robert Schumann and Ludwig van Beethoven for the Los Alamos Concert Association’s Friday performance in Duane Smith Auditorium. It’s a program that Roman has played once before.

“I like the program a lot,” he said. “The contrast between each half – Stravinsky and Prokofiev in the first half and Schumann and Beethoven in the second half – is very interesting.”

Roman travels to New Mexico immediately after presenting an unusual work-in-progress stage performance at the University of Chicago with actress/playwright Anna Deavere Smith. “On Grace” is a re-enactment of interviews with real people about the subject of grace.

“There are interviews with a Buddhist monk, a mom and politicians among others,” said Roman. “There’s quite a bit of music in the show. Not quite 50 percent, but almost. My original intent was to use music by (Johann Sebastian) Bach, but that got complicated. So I started writing my own music.”

Roman, who had never written music before, has been thrilled to try his hand at composing and gain insight into the compositional process. “Working with Anna has opened the flood gates to composition for me,” he added. “It’s very exciting.”

What’s also incredibly exciting for Roman is the instrument he has been playing since May. His 1738 cello made by Italian violin and cello maker Domenico Montagnana (1686-1750) is a dream come true.

“This cello has one of the most interesting combinations of power and darkness of tone,” Roman said. “It has all sorts of tone varieties. There seems to be no end to the variety. I’m not left wishing for more. There’s a feeling of freedom in the sounds I can make.”

A native of Oklahoma City, Roman began playing the cello at the age of 3 on a quarter-size instrument and gave his first public recital at age 10. He attended the Cleveland Institute of Music, earning his bachelor’s degree in cello performance in 2004 and his master’s degree in 2005. In 2006 he became the principal cellist of the Seattle Symphony. Two years later he launched his solo career, which includes recitals, concerto appearances and chamber music engagements.

Always interested in exploring different ways of sharing music, Roman recently completed an ongoing video series called “The Popper Project.” Wherever he and his laptop found themselves, Roman performed and recorded one of the 40 études from David Popper’s work “High School of Cello Playing.” His recordings are posted on YouTube.


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

Nativo Sponsored Content

taboola desktop

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

1
‘Mean Girls’ to launch a seven-performance stand at Popejoy ...
Entertainment
Nadina Hassan remembers begging her mother ... Nadina Hassan remembers begging her mother to get the "Mean Girls" DVD from Netflix so she could wat ...
2
Bow and Arrow Brewing's Native Land beer program spreads ...
Blogs
Bow and Arrow Brewing Co. started ... Bow and Arrow Brewing Co. started a project that has spilled over into more than two dozen communiti ...
3
Salvage-yard finds fuel artist's work
Arts
1"I work full time in my ... 1"I work full time in my studio – at least 8 hours a day – and my process has to ...
4
Grammy-winning Spanish Harlem Orchestra to play two shows in ...
Entertainment
Oscar Hernández is meticulous when it ... Oscar Hernández is meticulous when it comes to music.As the leader of the Gramm ...
5
Six bands to perform in benefit for charity that ...
Entertainment
Six local acts are coming together ... Six local acts are coming together to raise money for charity for the third annual Burque Niñ ...
6
Santa Fe steakhouse a decadent evening for carnivores, pescatarians ...
Dining Reviews
As we roll into the holiday ... As we roll into the holiday season and think about restaurants we can take friends and family for an ...
7
Location manager creates film for international competition project
Blogs
Alex Gianopoulos is used to deadlines.A ... Alex Gianopoulos is used to deadlines.A location manager in the film industry, he has ...
8
NM artist Leah Garcia to show her cyanotype works ...
Arts
It's been months since Leah Garcia ... It's been months since Leah Garcia has had some downtime.The New Mexico-based artist h ...
9
'Encanto' a charming tale of magical new Disney family
Entertainment
The end credits for today's animated ... The end credits for today's animated films run for so long that if you live within a mile or two of ...
10
'House of Gucci' is pure, unapologetic and over the ...
Entertainment
Everything in "House of Gucci" is ... Everything in "House of Gucci" is over the top. The accents. The performances. The fashion. The sett ...