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Cellista (born Freya Seeburger, February 21, 1983) is an American cellist and artistic director. She is known for collaborating with artists across various media, as well as live performances in unconventional spaces that incorporate elements of classical music, theater, improvisation and visual art across a range of genres including pop, hip-hop, classical and more. These performances often feature a carbon fiber cello and loop station.

Projects and collaborations[edit]


Cellista is the founding artistic director of the JAMS (Juxtapositions Avant Music Symphony). a process-based ensemble that merges classical and contemporary repertoire and provides professional development, mentoring and advocacy for emerging artists.

The End of Time[edit]

Her interdisciplinary exhibit The End of Time alongside internationally renowned visual artist Barron Storey’s solo exhibit Quartet at Anno Domini art gallery in downtown San Jose, California with her chamber music collective the Juxtapositions Chamber Ensemble received critical acclaim. The dual exhibition, created in tribute to French composer Olivier Messiaen’s seminal chamber work The Quartet for the End of Time, received mention in Juxtapoz magazine.[1]

Of the quartet, Cellista has said "The narrative of the quartet seemed to have immediacy to the San Jose of now. I think in many ways it makes apparent San Jose's connection to the past and illuminates a way to the future." [2]

Session work[edit]

A noted session musician for both recording and live performance, Cellista has worked with Grammy-nominated artist Tanya Donelly, producer John Vanderslice, Don McLean, Casey Crescenzo, and Van Dyke Parks.[3]

Awesome Orchestra[edit]

Cellista is an Ambassador for the Awesome Orchestra, a classical music collective with an eye towards increasing the accessibility of orchestral music.[4]


Cellista has studied with Jennifer Culp formerly of the Kronos Quartet and faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the Alexander String Quartet.


Cellista plays a Luis and Clark carbon fibre cello and an 1885 Czech cello.


Cellista's debut full-length album Finding San Jose engineered by Mayram Qudus (Doe Eye) will be released in Fall 2016.[needs update] Of the album, she remarked "Most especially, this is an offering to the artists of San Jose. I owe San Jose my creative life. I see the town going through a period of rapid growth and development, and I would like to offer this album to my community in dedication of a time when San Jose used to be orchards." [5]

Awards and honors[edit]

Cellista is a 2014 Belle Foundation grantee.[6] She is also a Nagel's Scholarship recipient. For her work with Messiaen's "Quatuor Pour La Fin Du Temps", she received the Otey Award for research writing from San Francisco State University.[7] She has also sat on several panels, including the ImagineSJ music panel.[8]


  1. ^ "New Paintings by Barron Storey @ Anno Domini Gallery". Juxtapoz.
  2. ^ Carter, Demone. "From Place Comes Culture -- An Interview With Cellista". Silicon Valley De-Bug.
  3. ^ Santos, Joshua. "San Jose Kickstarter: Cellista". The San Jose Blog.
  4. ^ Kaliss, Jeff. "An Open, Free, Reading Orchestra? That's Awesome!". San Francisco Classical Voice.
  5. ^ Pizarro, Sal. "St. Leo the Great alumni celebrate San Jose school's centennial". Mercury News.
  6. ^ "Belle Foundation Grantees". Belle Foundation.
  7. ^ "Cellista and the End of Time". Play on Words SJ.
  8. ^ Lu, Stephanie. "ImagineSJ Music". Content Magazine.

External links[edit]