Philip Kwoka is rapidly establishing himself as an impactful young leader in community arts education in New York. Philip has a strong passion for music education, focusing on servant leadership, local community development around the arts, and providing children with affordable access to high quality arts programming.
In October 2020, Philip founded the Bronx School for Music. His inspiration for founding BSM came from his extensive experience as a classically trained musician and longtime passion for working with Bronx youth. With limited opportunities available for children in 2020 and beyond, Philip, his team of faculty and philanthropic supporters opened the Bronx School for Music and have provided a space for students to return to the activities they love and have missed out on for more than a year.
Philip began his administrative career at the Bronx Conservatory of Music at the age of 24, where he served as their Executive Director between 2015 and 2020. At the Bronx Conservatory, Philip handled all day-to-day administrative operations, growth planning, program development, fundraising strategy, and community visibility. During his tenure, he exceeded the Board’s expectations through his strong belief in the organization’s mission, which led to the highest student enrollment in the organization’s history, a record fundraising initiative, and major media recognition in the New York Times and NBC TODAY Show.
Born in New York City, Philip was raised by Polish immigrants who dreamed of giving him an opportunity to enjoy and study music, an opportunity that they did not have access to in their youth. At the age of 5, Philip began taking piano lessons at the Music Institute of Long Island.
Philip is an award-winning concert pianist and 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.Back