Vanessa Hunt Russell

Vanessa was born into a family of professional musicians and raised in Montreal. She’s presently living her dream of playing solo and chamber music concerts, teaching the cello, playing in the Tonhalle Orchester Zurich as a substitute, and studying pedagogy at the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste.

In December 2017, the Canada Council of the Arts named Vanessa as winner of the prestigious Virginia Parker Prize. Other prizes Vanessa has won include the Basel Hochschule’s annual Schlusskonzert Competition with the Basel Symphonie Orchester. A laureate of the Rahn Musikpreis Wettbewerb, she performed the Elgar Cello Concerto at the Tonhalle Zurich with Argovia Philharmonic. In November 2017 Vanessa performed the Gubaidulina Sonnengesang with the VocalEnsemble ZHdK in Zürich.

With the assistance of a Canada Council Grant to Professional Musicians Vanessa completed a Bachelor Degree in Cello Performance with Thomas Demenga at the Basel Hochschule für Musik in Switzerland. This degree included a minor in baroque cello with Petr Skalka (Schola Cantorum Basilienis). Under the continued support of the Canada Council, Vanessa completed a Master Degree in Soloist Performance with cellist Roel Dieltiens at the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste.

Vanessa was guest principal cello for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Verbier Festival Orchestra and Stuttgarter Kammerorchester.


Vanessa Hunt Russell



Rahn Musikpreis 2014, 2. prize violoncello