Gwyneth Bravo

Assistant Professor of Music Affiliation: NYU Abu Dhabi
Education: MA, PhD University of California, Los Angeles; MM California State University; BA University of Minnesota; Fulbright Scholar University of Hamburg

Research Areas: music, war, and politics in 20th century contexts

Dr. Bravo is Assistant Professor of Music at NYU Abu Dhabi and active as a musicologist, music educator, and cellist. Her research explores intersections between music, war, and politics in 20th-century contexts with a focus on German and Czech music, opera, nationalism, exile, aesthetics, and media studies.

A Fulbright Scholar to Germany, Dr. Bravo worked with the ExilMusik research group at the University of Hamburg, publishing in their book Lebenswege von Musikerrinen im Dritten Reich und im Exil. Her current book projects include a monograph on operatic works by Erwin Schulhoff and Viktor Ullmann, as well as an edited volume on music and memorialization in the post-1945 context.

Dr. Bravo’s research has served as the basis of partnerships projects, concerts, lectures, and productions with diverse cultural institutions in the United States, Germany, the Czech Republic, and the United Arab Emirates. These include, the Abu Dhabi Educational Council (ADEC), the UAE Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development, the UAE Young Artists Concerto Competition (YACOCO), the Al Ain Youth Festival-Competition ("Gardens of the Sheikh Zayed"), TCA's Abu Dhabi Classics, the Archa Theater (Prague), the German Fulbright Commission, the German Embassy’s Villa Aurora (Los Angeles), REZN8, the Orel Foundation, the Los Angeles Opera’s Opera for Educators Program, as well as LA Opera.

As the Research Assistant to LA Opera’s Music Director James Conlon for the Recovered Voices Program, Dr. Bravo facilitated historical research on works by Braunfels, Krenek, Korngold, Schrecker, Shulhoff, Ullmann, and Zemlinsky as a basis for the production’s 2007 Los Angeles premiere. As a development of her Fulbright research on Viktor Ullmann, she produced and directed Music Memory Metamorphoses, a multi-media production of the composer’s 1944 melodrama Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornet Christoph Rilke (The Song of Love and Death of the Soldier and Cornet Christoph Rilke), based on Rainer Maria Rilke’s 1899 prose poem of the same name. The production, which features a live performance of the melodrama by operatic bass Gabriel Vamvulescu and pianist Steven Vanhauwaert, received technical support from Emmy award-winning designer Paul Sidlo. Premiered in the US in 2012 and 2013, in the UAE in 2015, and in Prague at the Archa Theater in 2018, upcoming performances will take place in USA in 2019 and at the Duino Castle in Trieste, Italy as part of the European Rilke Festival in 2020.

As Assistant Professor of Music at NYUAD, Dr. Bravo focuses on interdisciplinary approaches to her research and teaching. Her seminars are offered in Abu Dhabi, Berlin, and Prague through Music, Peace Studies, Film and New Media, and as part of the Humanities Core curriculum. As the Director of the NYUAD Cello Ensemble from 2014-2017, she facilitated the development of an annual “CelloNation” Concert, which featured guest cellists such as Jamison Platte (2014), Tchaikovsky Gold Medal Winner Narek Hakhnazaryan (2015), and French cellist Yan Levionnois (2016) as part of the program. Dr. Bravo's principal cello teachers were Yehuda Hanani at Peabody Conservatory, as well as Janet Horvath and Tanya Remenikova. Her cello students have been winners and finalists at numerous competitions, including the Kiwanis, the Los Angeles Cello Society Competition, Los Angeles Philharmonic Young Artist Competition, the Junior Division of the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, as well as First Prize for the UAE Best Young Musician of the Year in 2018.

Dr. Bravo has a broad background and credentials in the field of education. As the president of several US-based, non-profit organizations, including the Martin Luther King Jr. Cello Program and the Suzuki Music Association of Los Angeles (SMAC/LA), she focused on music as a basis for community building in school and neighborhood contexts in Sacramento and Los Angeles. As an advocate for arts-based approaches to education, Dr. Bravo continues to play a role in the development of initiatives in UAE, as well as in the MENA region.

She holds a PhD in Musicology from the University of California, Los Angeles (2011) and is a recent graduate of the International Summer School in Forced Migration from the Refugee Studies Center at Oxford University (2016).

Courses Taught