|"Famous as a supreme champion of the most complex new music, master-cellist Rohan de Saram brings a unique understanding and sensibility to the classical and early modern repertoire, alongside a new work specially written for him by Naresh Sohal" - Spitalfields Festival, June 2006|
Since returning to solo work in November 2005 after the years with the Arditti, Rohan has pursued a most challenging exploration of repertoire, collaborators and venues, driven by a profound desire to explore new modes, new composers, new musical cultures and new possibilities worldwide, and inspiring in the process a considerable expansion of the cello repertoire.
Rohan has performed a continuous stream of original works written specially for him in new instrumental combinations such as bassoon & cello (with Pascal Gallois), double bass & cello (with Stefano Scodanibbio), flute & cello (with Carin Levine, Richard Craig, Roberto Fabbriciani), guitar and cello (with Magnus Andersson, Jonathan Leathwood), clarinet, flute & cello (with Tadej Kenig, clarinet), percussion & cello (with Suren de Saram, Jean-Charles Francois, Florent Jodelet, Stephan Froleyks), harpsichord & cello (with Preethi de Silva), voice & cello (with Patricia Rozario).
In September 2007 Rohan and Aki Takahashi had the honour of playing in the presence of Empress Michiko of Japan, herself a talented pianist. Three months later he appeared for the first time in Hanoi to give the world premier of a double concerto for cello, percussion and orchestra by Ton That Tiet. 2009 saw him returning to Yerevan for the first time since the Soviet era, having a week earlier in Cologne given the world premier of Chant, a new work for cello and orchestra by Toshio Hosokawa, in a performance that received a prolonged and resounding ovation. Collaboration with Hosokawa continues with Rohan's extensive participation in the Takefu Festival on Japan's north-west coast. In Los Angeles he has appeared with 'Con Gioia' in a programme that included the US premier of Param Vir's Beyond The Reach Of The World for solo cello alongside works by J.S. Bach, Pietro Locatelli and Luigi Boccherini.
One continuing theme has been the Aberdeen Sound Festival, of which he is a founding patron along with Dame Evelyn Glennie and James MacMillan. He has also made regular appearances in Los Angeles as part of the Dilijian concert series, working with Movses Pogossian and Kim Kashkashian.
It is noteworthy that the classical repertoire has fitted well in programmes alongside the new contemporary works, with Bach in particular playing a prominent part. Repeated requests for Rohan to play the Kodaly solo sonata, the Berio Sequenza XIV and Xenakis’ Kottos have caused these works to become classics in Rohan's own repertoire and blazed a trail for other cellists to follow. Indeed, many have beaten a path to his door to study Berio’s Sequenza XIV with him, as well as Xenakis’ Kottos, with students coming from as far afield as Brazil, Australia, USA and Canada, not to mention many European countries.