Gwyneth Bravo

Assistant Professor of Music; Global Network Assistant Professor of Music Affiliation: NYU Abu Dhabi
Education: PhD, MA, University of California, Los Angeles (Historical Musicology); Fulbright Scholar Musicological Institute, University of Hamburg

Research Areas: Musicology; music and politics; nationalism; exile; German aesthetic theory; 20th-century German and Czech music and opera; music and commemoration; trauma studies, media studies; visual cultures; gender

Gwyneth Bravo is a historical musicologist who is Assistant Professor of Music at NYU Abu Dhabi and Global Network Assistant Professor at NYU. She holds a PhD in Musicology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her scholarship examines relationships between music, politics, and philosophy in twentieth- and twenty-first-century European and global contexts, with a focus on nationalism, migration, interwar avant-gardes, and opera after 1900. Recent publications include “Mortal Encounters, Immortal Rendezvous: Literary-Musical Counterpoints between Erwin Schulhoff’s Flammen and Karel Josef Beneš’s Don Juan,” a co-authored chapter in New Paths in Opera: Martinů, Burian, Hába, Schulhoff, Ullmann (Hollitzer, 2022); “(Re)orchestrating Histories: An Interview with Cambodian Composer Him Sophy” (“Music in Times of Crisis: Conflicts and Wars,” Swiss Journal of Musicology, 2022); the Grove Music Online entry on Him Sophy (2024); and her biographical entry on the African-American pianist, conductor, and violinist Awadagin Pratt is set to be published in August 2024. Bravo’s monograph Staging Death: Opera’s Mortal Imagination in Works from Prague to Theresienstadt is in contract and forthcoming in 2025. Her second book project, Requiems to ‘Memory Spaces’: Music, Trauma, and Justice Post-1945, examines the complex interplay between memory and history in diverse works, including Him’s 2017 premiered Bangsokol: A Requiem for Cambodia.

A Fulbright scholar at the Musicological Institute of the University of Hamburg, Bravo worked with the research group Exilmusik, contributing a chapter to Lebenswege von Musikerinnen im Dritten Reich und im Exil (von Bockel Verlag) — a volume examining the impact of National Socialism, forced migration, and exile on European women musicians during the period 1933-1945. As a development of her research focused on composers belonging to the interwar avant-garde in Prague, Bravo published a biography of Viktor Ullmann (Orel Foundation) and was instrumental in the development of Los Angeles Opera’s inaugural Recovered Voices production in 2007. As an outgrowth of her work at LA Opera, Bravo developed, produced, and directed Music-Memory-Metamorphoses — a multidisciplinary production of Ullmann’s 1944 melodrama Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornets Christoph Rilke. Premiered at the 2012 international conference “Reimagining Erwin Schulhoff and Viktor Ullmann and the German-Jewish-Czech World,” the work received its Prague premiere at the Archa Theater in 2018.

Bravo’s research has been supported by the German Fulbright Commission, the NYU Office of the Provost Curricular Development Challenge Fund Award (co-PI for Global Creative Collaboration: Artistic Dialogue Across Borders, 2019-2020), an NYUAD Dean of Science Grant (Peace Fellow Lecture Series, 2019-2020), an NYUAD Institute Workshop Grant (as a co-PI of Translucent Borders: Dance and Music in Global Dialogue, 2019), a University of California, Los Angeles Collegium of University Teaching Fellowship (CUTF, 2009), and a UCLA President’s Fellowship. She is a recipient of numerous grants from the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission for the development of music programs for children in Sacramento Public Schools (Artist in Schools and Neighborhood Arts Grants). Bravo has partnered with diverse cultural and educational institutions in the USA, the United Arab Emirates, Southeast Asia, and Europe. These collaborations include the Los Angeles Opera, the Los Angeles Opera for Educators Program, the Berlin-Los Angeles Villa Aurora, REZN8, the Orel Foundation, Turath Ensemble, Translucent Borders, the Abu Dhabi Educational Council (ADEC), the Abu Dhabi Department of Tourism and Culture’s Abu Dhabi Classics, the UAE Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development-Piano Center, Cambodian Living Arts, the German and Polish-American Fulbright Commissions, and the Archa Theater in Prague, among others.

As a historical musicologist, Bravo focuses on interdisciplinary approaches to her research and teaching. Her courses are offered at NYU Abu Dhabi, NYU Berlin, and NYU Prague through diverse programs, including Music, History, Film and New Media, Peace Studies, Heritage Studies, and the Humanities Core. As the founder and director of the NYUAD Cello Ensemble (2014-2018), she developed a series of CelloNation concerts and residencies at NYUAD, featuring performances by the Cello Ensemble with guest cellists Jamison Platte (2014), Tchaikovsky Gold Medal Winner Narek Hakhnazaryan (2015), and French cellist Yan Levionnois (2016). 

Bravo has global leadership experience in higher education, as well as in the non-profit sector as a founder and president. At NYU Abu Dhabi she has served on numerous committees, including the NYU-Prague Global Faculty Advisory Committee, the NYUAD Peace Studies Faculty Committee, and, most recently, the NYUAD Inclusion Equity and Action Committee (2021-2023). Earlier, she served as the elected Ars and Humanities representative on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee (2019-2021), and she was the appointed member of the inaugural NYUAD Arts and Humanities DEI Committee in 2015-2016.  Recent service in professional societies includes Chair of the American Musicological Society Performance Committee in 2021 and a Task Force member of the College Music Society Presidential Task Force for Leading Change in Music in Higher Education (2021-2022).  As the President of the International Chapter of the College Music Society (2023) and an appointed member of Global Diplomacy Lab (2023), Bravo is dedicated to developing pathways for global dialogue and exchange, emphasizing community engagement and partnerships towards the promotion of international understanding and global cooperation through music.

Courses Taught