Philip Kwoka
Executive Director
Konstantin Soukhovetski
Douglas Meyer

Music Director

Board of Directors
Douglas W. Meyer, President, Music Director

Yoshiaki Ko, Treasurer

Brenda Vincent, Secretary

Konstantin Soukhovetski

Melvin Brown

Julia Egorova

Philip Kwoka, Executive Director
Carlos Tabarez-Perez, Administrative Assistant 

Emeritus Board Members
Valerie Capers

Joan Winer Brown
Ruth Bryan Greene

Alan Yoblon

Our Special Thanks to Major Supporters
Bronx Community College/CUNY
Holy Rosary School


Our Leaders

Elizabeth T. Hoard, Founder

PO Box 622460, Bronx, NY 10462 US

Yoshiaki Ko
​​​Yoshiaki Ko has not only had an impressive start to his business career but has seen tremendous success as a pianist on the international stage.

Yoshi is currently an Associate at Pomona Capital, a global, value-oriented private equity firm specializing in secondary investing. Yoshi formerly worked in the investment banking division at Citi and has passed all three levels of the CFA exams. 

A classically trained pianist, Yoshi began his musical studies at an early age in Japan and then went on to study at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music with Helen Wong. Yoshi's extraordinary musical acumen led him to move to Germany in 2008 to study at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater, Hannover, with the renowned professor Karl-Heinz Kämmerling. In 2010, Yoshi was accepted to The Juilliard School where he studied with Jerome Lowenthal and received his Master of Music degree.

Yoshi has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in North America, Europe, and Asia, and was featured as a soloist with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Jugendsinfonieorchester (Dornbirn, Austria) and the Peninsula Symphony (San Francisco, CA). Yoshi has received top honors in many piano competitions, including First Prize at the PianoArts North American Competition, First Prize at the 6th Annual Chopin Competition at Columbia University, and a semi-finalist in the Yamaha e-Piano Competition. Yoshi was also a recipient of grants from the National Chopin Foundation's Scholarship fund for Young Americans between 2007 and 2009.  Prior to Juilliard, Yoshi graduated from Columbia University with a Bachelor of Arts in Neuroscience as salutatorian of his class.

Yoshi is deeply committed to furthering education and audience engagement in the performing arts, and currently sits on the Steering Committee of the Lincoln Center Young Patrons. 

Mel Brown is a pianist, conductor, and teacher who has over twenty years of experience as an independent school and arts education leader.  His particular educational interests include advancement and strategic planning, increasing student global awareness, and societal improvement through engagement with the visual and performing arts. His educational areas of expertise include public relations, fundraising, fostering team creativity, optimizing resources and budgets, leveraging technology, new teaching methodologies, and volunteer development.

Mel was most recently Head of School at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in New Orleans, following his tenure as Head of School at the private French-American Waring School in Beverly, Massachusetts.  Prior to that, he spent 14 years as Head of the Performing Arts Program, K-12, at the Trinity School in New York City.  At Trinity, Mel performed as organist and pianist, conducted over two dozen musical theatre shows and produced several original cabaret revues of Broadway songwriters that are currently in rental catalogues. 

 Mel has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and French Literature from Duke University, and a Master of Music Degree in Piano from the Juilliard School. He also has a Master of Arts degree in Educational Leadership from Columbia University. He recently performed and recorded Ravel, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff concertos with the Sofia Sinfonietta Orchestra of Bulgaria.  Mel is married to the pianist and teacher Inka Rudnycka, is the father of two adult sons and divides his time between New York and New Orleans. He has recently moved back to New York, his home town.

Brenda Vincent
​Philip Kwoka joined the faculty of the Bronx Conservatory of Music in April, 2015, and soon after was appointed Executive Director. Philip works closely with the Board of Directors in fulfilling Elizabeth Thode Hoard's vision of providing world-class music instruction, of the highest quality, at the most affordable rates, to children in the Bronx community. In this role, he oversees all administrative, fundraising, strategic and artistic initiatives through which the Bronx Conservatory expands access to classical music education. During his tenure at the Bronx Conservatory of Music, Philip has tripled the conservatory's enrollment from 50 to 185 students (having reached over 220 students this year), expanded its outreach efforts, strengthened its relationship with the Bronx Community College and Holy Rosary School, built a faculty that consists of alumni from leading Conservatories in the U.S and abroad, and bolstered a robust fundraising platform. The strength of Philip's leadership is informed by his musical training and by close relationships with his mentors who he continuously seeks counsel from; Douglas Meyer (President of the Bronx Conservatory), Paul Schenly, Konstantin Soukhovetski, and Pavlina Dokovska.  

Philip's leadership, managerial, and administrative skills were honed during his tenure as house manager and then Dean of Students at Pianofest in the Hamptons. Philip worked closely with the festival's Operations Manager Steven Dickman, and Founder/Artistic Director Paul Schenly overseeing the festival's day-today operations, managing the festival's house budget, and arranging student events.

Philip is an alumnus of the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he completed his Bachelor of Music, studying solo-performance with Daniel Shapiro and Paul Schenly, and chamber music with Peter Salaff, Anita Pontremoli and the Cavani Quartet. Upon graduating from CIM, he was awarded the 2015 Sadie Zellen Piano Prize for outstanding musical development. Philip then went on to study with Pavlina Dokovska at the Mannes College of Music, where he completed his Master of Music degree.  

Philip's career began when he was chosen to perform on Christopher O’Reily’s National Public Radio program “From the Top”. Philip made his solo orchestral debut at the age of 13 and has performed with the Warminsko-Mazurskie Filharmonia (Olsztyn, Poland) and the Tampa Bay Symphony Orchestra. Most recently, Philip was awarded honorable mention at 2019 Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Competition. Other achievements include the Tampa Bay Symphony Young Artist Competition (First Prize) and the Bluthner Junior Piano competition (First Prize), New World Symphony Concerto Competition (Second Prize), and laureate in the Blount-Slawson National Young Artist Competition. Philip is a recipient of grants and scholarships from the National Chopin Foundation’s Scholarship Fund for Young American Pianists and the Koszciusko Foundation's Fund for Graduate Studies.

Carlos Perez-Tabares
 Administrative Assistant
Julia Egorova
Brenda Vincent was born in Canada, where she began violin study at age 10.  She completed the Toronto Conservatory exams, with Honors, during high-school, then went on to study at The Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California.  She then studied at the Peabody Conservatory of Music, where she received a Bachelor of Music degree in Applied Violin.  She was awarded a Special Projects Grant (1985) and Fellowship (1988) from the National Endowment for the Arts to transcribe the recorded works of the legendary American violinist Stuff Smith.  Brenda is also a member of the Tulsa Symphony, an organization with a self-governing structure in which musicians serve as board and staff members and are integrated in all areas of policy decisions.  She has resided and freelanced in New York City since 1979, where she enjoys playing a variety of musical idioms and styles, including chamber music, symphony orchestra, opera, ballet, and contemporary classical. She has been a Board member of the Bronx Conservatory of Music since 2009.
Carlos Pérez Tabares is a Venezuelan composer and pianist. He began his music studies at the National Conservatory of Music "Juan José Landaeta", where he earned a degree in Piano Performance under the guidance of Alejandro Slobodianik. He also studied Composition with Miguel Astor, Gerry Weil, and Maria Eugenia Atilano (Venezuela), as well as Juan Pinera and Roberto Valera (Cuba). He holds a Masters degree from the Mannes College of Music (NYC), where he studied with Lowell Liebermann. He has served as Music Director for several congregations in Queens (NYC), and as an Assistant to the Techniques of Music Department at the Mannes College of Music. Mr. Perez's compositions and arrangements have been performed and recorded by various soloists and ensembles in the United States, Venezuela, Argentina, Cuba, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

(718) 841-7415

Advisors in the Arts
William Aguado

Seymour Bernstein 
Tom Cipullo
David Dubal

Ruth Falcon
Ed Friedman
Barbara Klein and Neil Goldstein
Dr. Paul Greene
Allison Hulscher

Paul Schenly
Louise Scribner
Joe Sherman
Michael Spierman

Melville Brown


Julia Egorova is a NYS licensed Real Estate Sales Associate, a buyer's agent and the marketing specialist for her team at Keller Williams Realty in the Bronx, New York. Julia and her husband’s “Team Tsougranis” makes a formidable force providing their clients with data, technology and valuable expertise. Her family has deep ties to the Bronx community and are committed to increasing the impact of music on the cultural and everyday lives of Bronx residents.

Julia has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Queens College in New York, and a Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics from Pyatigorsk State Linguistic University in Russia.

Konstantin Soukhovetski has a formidable pianistic career with solo performances at London's Wigmore Hall, New York’s Weill Recital and Zankel Halls at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, Cleveland's Severance Hall, Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, Miami's Adrian Arsht Center, and Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern, Switzerland, to name a few.

​As an educator, Konstantin has been mentoring artists at Pianofest In The Hamptons for 9 years and has served on juries of numerous international competitions, most notably the Hong Kong Music Schools Festival. He has given masterclasses in the U.S. and China, and is a strong proponent of an interdisciplinary approach to holistic musicianship. Konstantin’s experiences as an actor on stage and screen are the root of his career-long passion of incorporating the technique of informed musical narrative, enabling musicians to be better story tellers through their music.

Konstantin is a board member of the Southampton Cultural Center, NY, where he is the Managing Director of The Rising Stars Piano Series. Under his stewardship, the series enjoys a dedicated following and provides performance opportunities predominantly to the alumni of Pianofest In The Hamptons, where he has been Artist-In-Residence since 2011. Konstantin’s expertise at marketing, digital design and social media have resulted in the series’ growing profile and digital footprint, while providing great PR materials to the young musicians it supports. Konstantin is on the advisory board of International Music Sessions, NY,  and Pegasus Orchestra, NJ.

Konstantin is an alumnus of The Juilliard School where he earned his Bachelor, Master and Artist Diploma degrees under the tutelage of Jerome Lowenthal, and was awarded both the Arthur Rubinstein and Gina Bachauer Awards. His artistic and pianistic prowess has led him to be a recipient of over 15 major accolades, including the 2019 Innovation Award from Music Academy of the West, First Prize and Audience Prize at the New Orleans International Competition, Gold Medal Prize at the Hilton Head International Competition, Silver Medal at the UNISA International Competition, Bronze Medal at the Cleveland International Piano Competition. Konstantin is a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow for New Americans.

Doug Meyer brings a combination of global business experience and professional musical training to his role as President and Music Director of the Bronx Conservatory of Music.

A management consultant and New York Certified Public Accountant, Doug has 40 years of experience working with international clients. He was a Partner in the Financial Industries Consulting Group at Ernst & Young, where he was the national leader of the performance management service line, and was also a Vice President of Electronic Data Systems Corporation, where he was the global head of the Business Process Innovation consulting practice. Doug has consulted with over 250 clients including American Express, Citibank, Chase Bank, Bank of America, and Medtronic. He is currently Co-Founder and Managing Director of a startup firm in the dietary supplement industry.

Doug received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Piano Performance from Tulane University, where he was in the University Scholars Program. He then received a Master of Music degree in Piano from The Juilliard School, where he studied with Ania Dorfmann and Rosina Lhevinne as a scholarship student. He has given recitals in numerous North American cities and performed Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto with the New Orleans Philharmonic (predecessor to the Louisiana Philharmonic). He gave his Carnegie Recital Hall debut in 1982. After completing his studies at Juilliard, Doug went on to receive a Master of Business Administration in Finance and Accounting from Columbia University, where he was a Bronner Fellowship recipient.

Doug has been a resident of New York since 1974. One year later, while teaching piano and theory at a precollege music program in the Bronx, he met Elizabeth Thode Hoard, another piano teacher at the same school, and they quickly became close friends. When Elizabeth founded the Bronx Conservatory of Music in 1991, Doug advised her on setting up the organizational structure and not-for-profit status. After Elizabeth retired from active involvement in the Conservatory, she tasked Doug with helping to ensure the successful continuation of her original vision of providing classical music training to underserved communities in the Bronx. He and Elizabeth remained good friends until her passing in 2011.

Doug is a former member of the Board of Trustees of the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in Manhattan and has been a board member of the Bronx Conservatory of Music since 2005.