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 a musicologist whose research explores intersections between music, war, and politics in 20th-century contexts with a focus on German and Czech music, opera, nationalism, exile, and media studies. A Fulbright scholar to Germany, she worked with the ExilMusik research group at the University of Hamburg, publishing in their anthology 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 (Staging Death) as well as another that explores the interplay between history and memory in musical works commemorating lesser-explored traumas of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Bravo’s research has served as the basis for concerts, lectures, and partnerships with diverse cultural institutions in the Czech Republic, Germany, the United States, and the United Arab Emirates. These include the Archa Theater in Prague, the European Rilke Foundation, the Abu Dhabi Educational Council (ADEC), the UAE Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development, TCA’s Abu Dhabi Classics, the German Fulbright Commission, the Berlin-Los Angeles Villa Aurora, REZN8, the Orel Foundation, the Los Angeles Opera, and the Los Angeles Opera for Educators Program.

As the Research Assistant to Music Director James Conlon at Los Angeles Opera for the Recovered Voices Program, Bravo facilitated research on works by Braunfels, Krenek, Korngold, Schrecker, Shulhoff, Ullmann, and Zemlinsky as a basis for its 2007 Los Angeles premiere. As a development of her Fulbright work on Viktor Ullmann, she developed and produced Music-Memory-Metamorphoses, a multimedia production of the composer’s 1944 melodrama Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornets Christoph Rilke based on Rainer Maria Rilke’s 1899 prose poem of the same name. The production, which includes a live performance of the melodrama staged with filmic projections, was premiered in 2012 with support from the Orel Foundation and was recently staged at the Archa Theater in Prague in 2018.

At NYU Abu Dhabi, Bravo focuses on interdisciplinary approaches to her research and teaching, and her courses are offered under diverse programs including Music, History, Film and New Media, the Humanities core, as well as Peace and Heritage Studies. As a cellist, she built the NYUAD Cello Ensemble, serving as its director from 2014-2017. In this capacity, she facilitated the development of an annual “CelloNation” Concert, which featured distinguished, 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. Bravo's principal cello teachers were Yehuda Hanani at Peabody Conservatory and later 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 2017.

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, Bravo continues to serve as a consultant for music-educational 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 2016 graduate of the International Summer School in Forced Migration from the Refugee Studies Center at Oxford University.

Courses Taught