Judy Cope enjoys a distinguished career as a musician, patron of the arts, and one whose vision and philanthropy have done much to alter the cultural landscape for female classical artists. A graduate of Pittsburgh State University where she received a Bachelors of Arts degree in Voice and Music Education, she continued her studies at The Juilliard School, studying Voice with Beverly Johnson. While there, she performed extensively with The Liederkranz Foundation and claimed stage director Richard Crittenden as a mentor.
Continuing to expand her professional singing career, she began performing with The New York Choral Artists, Musica Sacra, and Voices of Ascension, thereby allowing her to boast collaborations with an array of distinguished conductors, among them Leonard Bernstein, Leon Botstein, Eric Leinsdorf, James Levine, Kurt Mazur, Zubin Mehta, Ricardo Muti, and Michael Tillson Thomas.
With entrepreneurial skills that would soon prove to rival her musical gifts, Ms. Cope launched her own business while continuing to work on her voice. She joined the board of directors of Voices of Ascension in 1990, and, while serving, was in charge of benefits and fundraising for the organization. Her work with attorney Walter Killmer in this capacity would result in a leadership role on the vestry of The Church of the Ascension where she served for eight years.
Ms. Cope is now Executive Director of The Sorel Organization, a foundation established in 1993 by Claudette Sorel who had come to international prominence as a child piano prodigy and, at age nine, was the youngest graduate ever of The Juilliard School. Working through the foundation, Ms. Cope's generous and constant efforts have resulted in many classical musicians, among them pianists, composers, and singers, receiving scholarships, grants and financial support that enable them to continue fulfilling their dreams of ever-expanding careers.
Last year, as a further testimony to her keen sense of mission, The Sorel Organization, at the request of Ms. Cope, began a partnership with The Alexander & Buono Competitions which has allowed various ABC winners to be chosen for selected engagements sponsored by Sorel. Kana Mimaki and Anna Shelest, two of the 2009 winners of the Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition, made their Alice Tully Hall debuts as a result of this collaboration. Ms. Shelest, again under the auspices of this partnership, made her Stern Auditorium debut at Carnegie Hall in a performance of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23, conducted by Kent Tritle.
Through a life that is both purpose-driven and focused on helping others, Judy Cope continues to inspire those in the musical community with her work and talents. As she is fond of saying, "I found my true voice when I started speaking for Claudette—helping women in music."
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For more than four decades, Alexandr Sklioutovski has been known as a musician and pedagogue whose innovative methods of teaching have created passionate and committed world class musicians. Born in Frunze, the capital of the Soviet Republic of Kyrgyzstan, it was there that he first fell in love with what he calls "His Majesty's Piano." Completing his studies at the Peter Schubin Music School, he later entered Muratali Kurenkeev Special High School of Music And Choreography and then the State Conservatory of Tashkent in Uzbekistan. Further post-graduate work was done at the Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky State Conservatory in Moscow and the Modest Mussorgski State Conservatory in Sverdlovsk, Ural.
He began teaching Piano in 1970 at the State University of Kyrgyzstan, the State Institute of Arts, and would later be appointed Scientific Teacher and Headmaster of the School of Piano at the University where he served from 1986 to 1994. It was during these years that his study and love of the piano led him to learn more than forty performance recital programs, with repertoire from every music period including Baroque, Classic, and Contemporary. A noted recitalist and performer, Dr. Sklioutovski would go on to play throughout the Soviet Union.
Never far away from his penchant for music scholarship and love of education, Dr. Sklioutovski continued his writings, and during this period completed more than thirty scientific and methodological books, among them Style Analysis of Twentieth Century Music, Genre Evolution, and Didactic Strategy in the Preparation of Musical Studies.
In 1994, Dr. Sklioutovski was invited to participate in a seminar called, "Piano Music of the Twentieth Century," at the Music School of the University of Costa Rica. This led to the offer of a position as Visiting Professor the following year and a second offer of a full professorship in 1996.
As the coordinator of the Piano Department, he is responsible for the incorporation and teaching of a new methodology for the piano that is his own invention which he developed with a team of international music professors, among them MM Luis Monge, MM Ludmila Melzer, Ph.D. Tamara Sklioutovskaia, and Lic. Gerardo Meza. Together they have helped to create a rich pool of talented students through a plan known as the Pianist Training Intensive. This revolutionary program has received international attention, prompting an award from the Omar Dengo Foundation in 2000 and the International Award for Academic Innovation in 2004.
Through the teaching and implementing of educational methodologies that are the direct result of Dr. Sklioutovski's research and pedagogy, he has helped to inspire and nurture talent among pianists that is second to none. This unique and incomparable program of inquiry and innovation has prepared more than a hundred winners and laureates of prestigious piano competitions throughout the world. This same mentoring and education has led Dr. Sklioutovski's students to further their undergraduate and graduate studies at some of the world's most important conservatories and universities in England, Israel, Italy, and the United States. Dr. Sklioutovski remains steadfastly committed to his dream of continuing to cultivate the rich supply of musical talent that remains one of Costa Rica's greatest natural resources.
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DEE A. SODER
"The great Anna Moffo never succeeded in teaching me to sing, but she taught me the importance of business education for musicians."
With decades of experience in business and psychology, Dr. Dee Soder remains one of the nation's leading advisors to top executives, companies and boards. The pioneer of executive coaching, a multibillion dollar industry, Soder is consistently cited by The Wall Street Journal, Fortune Magazine, CNN, CBS Marketwatch, and NBC as "the country's top executive advisor," "the CEO's coach," and "the CEO's consigliere."
Founder of the CEO Perspective Group, Soder advises top management on a wide range of issues. For over 20 years, Boards of Directors have asked Soder to conduct highly sensitive assessments to determine the status of chief executives. Clients include corporations, private equity firms, government, investment banks and non-profits, as well as highly successful executives and consultants -- the leaders in every field.
Soder's career is full of "firsts." She was a Vice President at Prudential early in her career; led one of the President’s Reorganization Projects for the White House; was Staffing Director for the District of Columbia; a chief of the D.C. Police Department; and a partner at Rohrer, Hibler, and Replogle. While Senior Research Psychologist for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, she co-founded the highly regarded Personnel Testing Council. Soder's ability to translate her extensive technical background into practical results has frequently resulted in awards such as commendations from President Carter, Chase Manhattan Bank, the District of Columbia, the New York City Police Department, and plaudits from the Brookings Institution, the American Medical Association, the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, NACD, Directors & Boards, and the American Association of University Women. In 2004 Soder founded Fast Forward UniversityTM, the first accelerated training program for potential corporate stars.
Soder was on the Board of the Women's Campaign Fund, Women’s Economic Round Table, and several nonprofit boards. One of three people recognized in the Labor Department’s initial Glass Ceiling report, she has been honored many times for her work helping women advance. She volunteers considerable time to federal and state law enforcement agencies. Soder's insights and advice to leaders were featured on television, radio, print, and online after September 11 -- helping businesses and law enforcement better address the crisis. A sought-after speaker, Soder has given over 20 keynotes and panels on leadership and corporate governance. Her articles and research on CEO assessment have received considerable acclaim from members of Congress and key business leaders. Her "Inside the Mind of a Leader" (Harvard Business Review, 2004) is widely praised for its insights on ethics. Directors & Boards 2006 special on Crisis Management was prophetic--the lead article was Soder's "Leading When It Counts."
Having attended graduate school at night, Soder is a Phi Beta Kappa and earned a B.S. with Special Distinction, M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Psychology with an emphasis on industry and legal applications from the University of Oklahoma, and, in addition, completed post-doctoral work in assessment and forensic psychology from George Washington University.
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Kay Yamamoto was born in Tokyo and attended Tokyo University of Foreign Studies where she majored in International Relations, traveling to Indonesia, Europe, and Mexico to work for major corporations. She received her Masters of Arts degree in Psychology and Early Childhood Education from Sarah Lawrence College.
Mrs. Yamamoto is the Director of two private schools - Japan International Arts and Cultural Center/Asunaro Kokusai Gakuen in Closter, New Jersey, and Greenwich Kokusai Gakuen in Cos Cob, Connecticut. She is also the President of JHC Foundation, Inc., an organization dedicated to promoting Japanese and American cultural exchange programs through language and performing arts. Through JHC, Mrs. Yamamoto sponsors a Japanese American exchange program bringing teachers and artists to both countries where musicians have performance opportunities and master classes. Both of Kay Yamamoto's schools emphasize language arts, science, and most importantly music, starting from pre-school age.
As she was raising her own two daughters, Mrs. Yamamoto realized the importance of this cultural basis in early childhood. Her passion for excellence in education inspired her to design her own children’s educational experiences from the time they were a very young age. This served as the motivation to create a program for children starting from the age of two that includes music as a central core curriculum, as Mrs. Yamamoto believes that a fundamental music education is crucial in developing other academic areas. This philosophy is key to both of Mrs. Yamamoto’s schools, where music functions as its own language, creating cognitive skills and a relationship with learning in all areas. This technique also brings music to the center of family life, as parents of her students share in regular performances that include recitals at Steinway Hall, Sarah Lawrence College, and Manhattanville College. After experiencing success with this program, Mrs. Yamamoto opened the Greenwich International Conservatory of Music where outside students from elementary school age to adult can take string and piano lessons along with her students.
While both of Mrs. Yamamoto’s children were studying with Cosmo Buono and the late David Bradshaw, she proposed the idea of a competition where young musicians and aspiring artists could be recognized for their talent and dedication to the performing arts. This gave way to The Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition and helped spark the growth of Alexander & Buono International.
An enthusiastic educator and patron of the arts, Mrs. Yamamoto continues to sponsor young artists and inspire children and their families to appreciate music as an international language and as a means of students achieving their full potential.
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