Emily grew up in the Los Angeles area absolutely surrounded by music. By the time she began studying cello at age 8, she had a solid background on the piano and an intense love for symphonic repertoire. By age 13, she was playing with the local university orchestra as well as attending Idyllwild Arts summer programs, which she credits as pivotal in her decision to make music her career. Her former teachers include Cathy Graff, Hans Jørgen Jensen, and Ronald Leonard.
In 1995, she began cello performance studies at Cal State Northridge. In 1997, she was selected as one of 37 musicians chosen nationwide to participate in the Disney Grammy College Orchestra, which maintains a residency at DisneyWorld for the summer. In the autumn of 1998, she took advantage of Northridge’s exchange program and spent a year studying in London at Kingston University, expanding her emphasis to include music technology as well as cello performance. That spring, she won the school’s concerto competition with Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations and performed with the university chamber ensemble in an ancient church in the heart of Kingston. She returned to Northridge and graduated in 2000. She briefly returned to the UK on a BUNAC work exchange visa, and lived just outside of Manchester, teaching and playing there for 6 months.
She spent the next 10 years performing, recording and establishing a teaching studio in Los Angeles. In 2007, she began the Stark Raving Cello Blog, which she describes as essentially “a bunch of advice to myself” that discusses everything from technique and approach to random postings about aviation and football. The network created by the blog and its readers allowed Emily to begin teaching tours, which she schedules once or twice a year. In 2009, she began writing as a contributor to Strings Magazine, and in 2010, her first book, “A Modern Cellist’s Manual” was published. A second manual and book of études are currently in progress. In the summer of 2010, Emily relocated to Baltimore, MD to attend Johns Hopkins University, where she completed a master’s in Education, with emphases in cognitive neuroscience and higher education/curriculum design. She currently resides in Washington, DC.
When she’s not playing, writing, or teaching, Emily is a huge aviation enthusiast, USC football fan and unapologetic oenophile.