This is the official website of Los Angeles based cellist,
Vanessa Freebairn-Smith

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Vanessa Freebairn-Smith is a Los Angeles based cellist whose diverse and prolific career spans both the music and motion picture industries. Born and raised in LA, Vanessa’s early training took place at the Colburn School of Performing Arts, where she was principal cello of the chamber orchestra. Vanessa began playing cello professionally while she was still in high school, working for such greats as legendary film composer Jerry Goldsmith. While her career continued to progress, she attended UCLA under a full music scholarship, completing her Bachelor of Arts in Cello Performance in 2003. She became a founding member of the Sonus Quartet, with whom she took part in the prestigious Julliard Quartet Seminar and also held a residency at the Banff Center in Canada. Sonus have since enjoyed continued success as a string quartet, working closely with many notable recording artists and composers, including Gnarls Barkley, Norah Jones and Mark Isham.

Aside from her work with Sonus Quartet, Vanessa has cultivated an impressive studio career in her own right. She has frequently been principal cello for prominent records, including Paul McCartney’s ‘Kisses On The Bottom’ and Barbara Streisand’s album ‘Love Is The Answer’. She regularly records for many acclaimed music producers, from David Foster to Danger Mouse, and has established close collaborative relationships with artists including Jeff Beck and Sarah McLachlan.
Vanessa’s recording credits also extend to numerous scores for film and television, both as a soloist and an orchestral player. Amongst many notable projects are her featured solos on Nathaniel Walcott's score for the 2015 box office hit, 'The Fault In Our Stars'. She also collaborates frequently with film composer, Clint Mansell, and is the featured soloist in Mansell’s critically acclaimed soundtrack for Darren Aronofsky’s ‘Noah’. Also noteworthy is her work on Fil Eisler’s scores for ‘Revenge’ and new hit series,‘Empire’, her solos for the latter being described as ‘integral to the sound’ of the show (Billboard, March 2015).

No less extensive are Vanessa’s credits for live performance and she continues to perform in concert with a wide variety of artists. She joined Josh Groban as a guest soloist on his ‘Awake' tour in 2007 and was also featured on his album of the same name; on the track ‘Un Giorno Per Noi’. Other touring has included stints with Sia, Sinead O’Connor and Sarah McLachlan, with whom she performs not only as a cellist, but also as a multi-instrumentalist and a background vocalist. Vanessa played principal cello for the acclaimed Dakah Hip-Hop Orchestra from 2000–2008, and along with her fellow Sonus Quartet members, she spent much of 2006 and 2007 touring with Grammy award winning band, Gnarls Barkley.

Along with her success as a player, Vanessa has also written arrangements, for both solo cello and string quartet, for various bands and artists, including The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dot Hacker, Van Hunt, Martina Topley-Bird, and John Frusciante.

For more information, you can contact Vanessa using the form at the bottom of the site.


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