Cellist Joshua Roman Pitches Popper Études
Roman is building a community around the 'Popper Project'
Cellists may feel alone in their studies of David Popper’s “The High School of Cello Playing: 40 Études.” But touring soloist Joshua Roman, the 26-year-old former principal cellist of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, makes the case that they shouldn’t. “It’s one of those things that cellists have in common as much as Bach,” Roman says.
Roman has returned to the études and is building a community around the Popper Project. Each week, Roman films himself with his laptop in whatever setting he’s in—whether it’s his living room or an unheated house during winter in Lima, Peru—and posts the unedited video online at joshuaroman.com, youtube.com/user/JoshuaRomanCello, and his Facebook page, where other cellists or fans have the chance to respond. At press time, Roman was halfway through videotaping impromptu performances of the 40 études, and his first video had more than 8,300 views. “Through the comments and subscribers, I’ve seen how it can help others and how I can better explain them,” Roman says. “It’s important to share and recognize what we’re going through with these études.”