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Meet Emily Elkin

Today we’d like to introduce you to Emily Elkin.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Emily. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I started the 4th grade dreaming of playing the violin. My sister played it so of course, I had to as well. The first day of school that year, the orchestra teacher pulled me into the hall and held my hand up to her palm to palm and told me with hands as big as mine I definitely needed to play cello instead. So I basically owe everything to Mrs. Kushin and my big honkin’ mitts.

I was always a solidly mediocre student through school….cliff notes and Wikipedia were my best friends….but cello was the first thing that really held my attention and it was the first thing I actually felt ahead of the game at. Luckily I had (and have) a wildly supportive family (both my parents are artists) and they pushed me and encouraged me to pursue music through school and into college.

Since then, I’ve been able to perform with so many amazing artists. Here are some! Jackson Browne, the Monkees, Thee Oh Sees, WAND, Shannon Lay, Troye Sivan, Halsey, Karen O, Danger Mouse, Vagabon, and most recently Angel Olsen ♥️

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Nooooo, it has not been easy. haha

I don’t think I’m alone when I say, as an artist I was (and still am from time to time) plagued with crippling self-doubt. There was a brief moment after I graduated from college with a fresh degree in cello performance and no idea how to make a career out of it….that I misguidedly toyed with the idea of dropping everything and becoming a chef. (very glad that one didn’t stick)

There was the moment right after I moved to Los Angeles in 2011 that I fell off of a 30 foot ladder while doing habitat for humanity and broke my left arm in three places. I thought for a while I would never be able to play the same again….but with the help of some top-notch doctors (and two plates and nine pins) it healed just fine….but that definitely put the brakes on my music career for a time.

I can’t tell you how many times throughout my career that I’ve said “ok that’s it I quit I will never touch a cello again”. But that’s how you know something is a part of you I think…it can completely tear you apart and make you question literally every decision you’ve ever made but I’ll always come back to it because the cello is just it for me. No matter how tumultuous a career in the arts can be (and it is) the comfort is still music and the instrument itself. (You just have to patiently wade through a sea of bullshit occasionally)

What else should our readers know?
I am known for playing the cello, quietly bending the space time continuum at will, and being a staunch advocate for cryptozoology.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I’m not so sure about luck…..I suppose (on a very grand scale) it’s pure luck to even exist at all. I mean what are the chances! I feel lucky to have made it 32 years and I feel lucky to have a job that I love and a family and a husband and a cat. My career has definitely been built step by step and gig by gig with most jobs coming from word of mouth and connections I’ve made along the way all the way up to getting to play with some of my favorite artists and traveling the world. But I think artists do a disservice to themselves giving all the credit to luck alone…. kind of seems like I’m on the fence, haha. I think at the end of the day luck and chance can only take you so far…

Contact Info:

  • Website: emilyelkinmusic.com
  • Phone: 716-908-9082
  • Email: emily.elkin@gmail.com
  • Instagram: @_emily.elkin_


Image Credit:

Matt Kallish, Jeff Lorch, Collins Schude, Justin Cooper

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