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Perfect Pitch: Emiel Cockx

Updated: Dec 15, 2023

Founder, CEO, Cellist

Current City: New York, NY

Current Job and Entrepreneurial Focus: Co-Founder and CEO at Genvision, we measure carbon removal in nature using satellite images and AI.

Notable Prior Jobs: TA at UC Berkeley

When I Started Performing: 2006 (age 9)

Performing Arts Background:

I studied Cello (exclusively performance) with Olsi Leka at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, followed by a music education at UC Berkeley supported by the Sheldeen G. Osborne Performing Arts fund while studying my Master of Architecture. While in California, I founded the Golden Bear Trio with Jolie Huang (piano) and Billy Fang (violin). With the trio, we performed throughout the United States, including a 26-concert tour through Washington state, and winning the Frances Walton Competition. Currently, I'm focused on solo performances of the J.S. Bach cello suites in Europe.

How did your performing arts background supercharge your entrepreneurship?

Have you ever wondered about the remarkable parallels between playing music and building a company? While performing with our piano trio, for example, there's no room for mid-song chit-chat in the heat of the performance. Imagine trying to say, "I'm easing up here!" or blurting out, "Ready for that beat?" when the audience is fully immersed. As an ensemble, it’s all about building a machine, an organism of sorts, that breathes and reacts as a whole. You do not practice until everyone is doing the same thing. You build a framework in which each musician has the freedom to react to the music in a natural way. One doesn't have time to verbally communicate these intentions, but if you do it well, entire stories can be told with a quick look, a small sigh, or a tiny gesture. This is the role I aspire to take on as an entrepreneur. Building a company that realizes a big dream isn't a solo performance. It requires building a team of people who are able to work towards the same vision while having the freedom to act in a personal way. When sales are exploding or when the ship is on fire, there is no time to communicate everything verbally. There is only the team that can act in a collectively personal way. That requires time and lots of practice. But, ah! For a musician, that’s all we need to hear.

Favorite Performer: Steven Isserlis

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