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Joshua Roman, Cello

Living with Long COVID as a Musician: A Conversation/Concert

with Clemency Burton-Hill, Host & Rosie Tomkins, Moderator

Princeton University Concerts Debut


Wednesday, November 9, 2022, 7:30 PM EST


Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall


General: $40 | Student: $10

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The brilliant cellist came into the center of our circle, sat down and began quietly playing an Appalachian melody. His sounds resonated with a richness and purity. We sat transfixed, feeling the music reach out to us tenderly and surely..."

—Ellen Saxon, Audience Member at Roman's PUC debut in 2021

Healing with Music

About the Event

One of the most memorable moments in PUC’s recent history was when cellist Joshua Roman made his debut in our Live Music Meditation Outdoors series last fall, inviting listeners to huddle around him under a tent during an unexpected rain shower. Underlying the palpable magic of that experience was a circumstance unknown to many in the lucky audience: that this extraordinary young musician—the epitome of health prior to the pandemic—has suffered from long-haul COVID-19 syndrome since January 2021. Even amidst debilitating fatigue, he has since dedicated himself to a vigorous touring schedule with a renewed sense of gratitude and urgency. An avid believer in the healing power of music, Roman now returns to PUC to explore the role that music has played throughout his continued recovery in an event combining conversation and performance, hosted by the exquisite broadcaster and writer Clemency Burton-Hill, and moderated by multi award-winning executive producer and journalist Rosie Tomkins.


JOSHUA ROMAN has earned an international reputation for his wide-ranging repertoire, a commitment to communicating the essence of music in visionary ways, and artistic leadership and versatility. As well as being a celebrated performer, he is recognized as an accomplished composer and curator, and was named a TED Senior Fellow in 2015.

Author, podcast host, broadcaster, and brain-hemorrhage survivor CLEMENCY BURTON-HILL, “an evangelist for classical music,” (Publishers Weekly) has brought her mission of making classical music more accessible through her work at New York Public Radio, WNYC, and the BBC.

Multi award-winning executive producer, creative leader and storyteller ROSIE TOMKINS most recently served as the Head of Digital Video Production, CNN International. Prior to this role, she spent 10 years on the TV side of CNN, reporting and producing across news and features content around the world.


Humans have been using sounds as a way to exist and endure since the start of time. As we return to the concert hall after the trauma of a pandemic, we will be guided by three artists whose stories of resilience in facing illness and personal upheaval shed light on music’s profound impact in events combining conversation and live performance. You can share your own story of music’s restorative role in your life here.

Read More About Event


Joshua Roman Cello

Clemency Burton-Hill Host

Rosie Tomkins Moderator


  • J.S. Bach

    Suite No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007: I. Prélude

  • Allison Loggins-Hull


  • George Crumb

    Sonata for Solo Cello

  • Mark Summer


  • Leonard Cohen (arr. Roman)


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