Dr. Gwyneth Bravo, PhD

Cello Teacher

Gwyneth Bravo

SAA Member


New York, NY
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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, media studies, and critical approaches to music pedagogy. Bravo has a broad background in the field of education and was the founder and president of several US-based non-profit arts education organizations for children, including the Martin Luther King Jr. Cello Program and the Suzuki Music Association of Los Angeles (SMAC/LA). In the US, she focused on music education as a platform for community building in school programs as well as in after-school and neighborhood contexts. Presently, she is developing the Salaam Music Project for the MENA region with support from local cultural institutions.

Dr. Bravo holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles (2011) and is a recent graduate of Oxford University’s International Summer School in Forced Migration (2016). She completed her pedagogical training as a cellist under the direction of Nancy Yamagata, Pam Devenport, and Jean Dexter in Los Angeles and at the Chicago Institute of Music and Ithaca College. Additionally, she holds a California teaching credential in Cross-cultural, Language, and Academic Development (CLAD) with a specialization in elementary music, which she earned from the Bilingual/Multicultural Education Department (BMED) at California State University, Sacramento. Influenced by the educational philosophy of Paulo Freire and the pedagogical approach of Shinichi Suzuki, Bravo worked as a bilingual (Spanish) and ESL elementary school teacher in Sacramento public schools.

As a recipient of several Artists in Schools Grants from the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, Bravo taught literacy through poetry in urban schools for two years also establishing the Martin Luther King Jr. Cello Program with a Neighborhoods Art Grant from the commission during that time. Founded as a non-profit organization, this after-school music program provided group and private cello lessons to students at the Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School and from the surrounding community and was featured on the television program Good Day Sacramento.

Dr. Bravo began her cello studies at the age of twelve in Los Angeles with Gretchen Geber. She studied with Yehuda Hanani at Peabody Conservatory and later with Janet Horvath and Tanya Remenikova in Minneapolis. She holds an M.M. in Cello from California State University, Sacramento where she served as the cello instructor for the Community Music Division of the university. Professionally engaged as a cello teacher and music educator in Los Angeles for ten years while at the University of California, Los Angeles, Bravo was on the board of the Suzuki Music Association of California/Los Angeles for five years, serving as its president from 2007-2009. Her cello students have been winners and finalists in competitions such the Kiwanis, the Los Angeles Cello Society Competition, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Young Artist Competition, as well as the Junior Division of the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.

As Assistant Professor of Music at NYU Abu Dhabi, Dr. Bravo focuses on interdisciplinary approaches to her research and teaching. Her courses and humanities seminars are offered in Abu Dhabi, Berlin, and Prague under the auspice of diverse programs that include Music, Peace Studies, Writing, Film and New Media, and the Arts and Humanities Core. At NYU Abu Dhabi she directs the university Cello Ensemble, which features an annual “CelloNation” concert with a guest, solo cellist as part of a week-long residency at NYUAD. Past cellists have included Jamison Platte (2014), Tchaikovsky Gold Medal Winner Narek Hakhnazaryan (2015), and French cellist Yan Levionnois (2016).

Earlier, as a Fulbright Scholar to Germany, Dr. Bravo worked with the University of Hamburg research group Exilmusik, publishing an article in their volume 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 the edited volume Music and Conflict: Global Perspectives Post-1945, which examines music and conflict within emerging transnational configurations of power after World War II.

Professional Affiliation:
• American Musicological Society (AMS)
• Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM)
• International Musicological Society (IMS)
• UNESCO’s International Society for Music Education (ISME)
• Suzuki Association of the Americas (SAA)
• Suzuki Music Association of California/Los Angeles (SMAC/LA).