Ian Freebairn-Smith
Board of Directors

Ian’s life has been dedicated to music in its many forms, from classical to popular, jazz, choral music, and new music. He has extensive experience as a composer and conductor in film and TV, and is a Grammy Award-winning arranger.

His formal training in music began with private studies in composition with Julius Toldi while in high school. He then attended the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music, the University of Pennsylvania, and UCLA. He later studied film scoring with Leith Stevens.

He began studio work as a group singer, then went on to choral arranging, orchestra arranging, and finally motion picture and TV composing. He won a Grammy Award for best arrangement accompanying a vocalist, for Barbra Streisand’s “Evergreen.” He has arranged and conducted for The Hi-Lo’s, The Four Freshmen, Liza Minelli, Frederica von Stade, Andy Williams, Anthony Newly, Stephen Bishop, Harry Nilsson, Paul Williams, Jeff Beck, and many others.

Film composing and orchestrating credits include: The End, The Strawberry Statement, The Muppet Movie, A Star is Born, and M*A*S*H. TV composing for: Magnum, P.I., Fame, Cagney and Lacy, and Airwolf. He arranged the orchestra and voices, and sang in the vocal group, on the “Gilligan”s Island” theme. He formed the quartet “The Swing Set” to tour with Doc Severensen’s big band with major American symphony orchestras. He sings in Clare Fischer’s vocal group 2+2+2. (New CD out now).

His choral setting of “Season,” by US Poet Laureate WS Merwin was given its world premiere performance by the choral group Volti in December of 2011 in San Francisco. His cello quartet No. 1 was recently performed in Southern California and heard on KUSC. “LA Marathon” was commissioned by the LA Jazz Philharmonic Orchestra and first performed at UCLA’s Royce Hall.

Ian is a licensed pilot, avid downhill skier, and a distance runner for thirty-three years. His wife, violinist Shari Zippert, and their daughter Vanessa are both active concert and studio musicians in Los Angeles.