A Bittersweet Farewell: 10 Questions with Joshua Roman

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Joshua Roman has been the Artistic Director of our beloved Town Music series for 15 creative, vibrant, transformational years. With bittersweet emotions, we’ll send him off with an epic Final Cello-bration in The Great Hall on June 7 at 7:30pm. We can’t wait to see what endeavors Joshua embarks on next — but before he does, we sat down for a quick Q&A that spans everything from his favorite moment to his favorite Seattle sandwich spot.

1. Favorite show?

Every show! But the Final Cello-bration will be the feather in my cap.

2. Favorite commission?

I love them all —  it’s been amazing to see pieces go on to have a life that began at Town Hall.

3. Biggest regret?

Not capturing every single Town Music moment on HD video from the beginning.

4. Moment of bliss?

Fratres with all the cellos.

5. Moment of panic?

Turning a page during the premiere of Gabriela Lena Frank’s solo sonata and seeing that an entire movement was missing.

6. Artist you wish we’d been able to present?

I’ll never tell!

7. Best after show meal spot?

Ba Bar on 12th Ave — consistently delicious, close to Town Hall, and open late.

8. Favorite sandwich?

The Market Grill (in Pike Place Market)! It’s a Seattle gem with great views, and I love taking guest artists there for lunch.

9. Thing you’ll miss about Seattle?

The Town Hall audience! Hopefully I’ll be back often enough not to miss y’all too much!

10. Thing you’ll miss about Town Hall Seattle?

The whole team. Town Hall is truly special, and there’s so much good energy with everyone there, including all of our supporters and audiences. I wish every audience listened with that much care and interest! And The Great Hall…love the sound in that room…

Click here to read Joshua’s farewell letter to the community on our blog and check out his playlist of past performances.

Artist-in-Residence Gretchen Yanover: Mid-residency Reflections

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Earlier this winter, Town Hall’s Artist-in-Residence, cellist Gretchen Yanover, reflected on the midpoint of her residency and shared some thoughts about finding inspiration at Town Hall. In an excerpt from her blog at gretchenyanover.com, she writes: 

“Since last year, I’ve been feeling this almost desperate desire to do more with my (musical?) voice, to say more, to be less ambiguous with the few words I do use. I’m so inspired by people like Julian Saporiti/No-No Boy, who share so much through stories and history. (What a great podcast talk he had with Tomo Nakayama!) I’m inspired by all of the people taking on the huge issues of our times. I was particularly struck by Howard Frumkin’s talk on Planetary Health (with all of the intersections…).” 

Gretchen goes on to describe a back-and-forth that most artists will find familiar: the dichotomy of feeling insignificant, yet knowing the worth of creative gifts; the desire to speak up, and the fear of causing harm; the discomfort and pain of the process, and the creative energy that can come from intersecting ideas. 

It’s such acts of questioning, connection, and expression that make Town Hall residencies a joy to watch unfold. We hope you’ll join us this month for Gretchen Yanover’s Findings Night (1/21) as she shares her residency explorations in a program of musical collaboration, interlaced with poetry and dance.

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