Gwyneth Bravo, PhD

Cello Teacher

Gwyneth Bravo

SAA Member

Gwyneth Bravo is an Assistant Professor of Music at New York University Abu Dhabi and active as a musicologist and cellist. She holds a Ph.D. in Historical Musicology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her research explores the relationship between music, politics, and philosophy in 20th-century European and global contexts with a focus on nationalism, exile, and war. At NYUAD, her courses are offered in diverse programs, including Music, History, Film and New Media, Peace Studies, Heritage Studies, and the Humanities Core. As founder and director of the NYUAD Cello Ensemble, Bravo developed a series of CelloNation concerts and residencies at NYUAD which, sponsored by the NYUAD Institute and the Department of Culture and Tourism-Abu Dhabi featured the Cello Ensemble in performance with guest cellists Jamison Platte (2014), Tchaikovsky Gold Medal Winner Narek Hakhnazaryan (2015), and French cellist Yan Levionnois (2016). The NYUAD Cello Ensemble will return to the stage in 2022 with support from the NYUAD Institute in a multidisciplinary production featuring a concert for ensemble, choir, with soloists and film.

Bravo has a broad background in the field of education and holds a state of California multiple-subject teaching credential in Cross-cultural, Language, and Academic Development (CLAD) with an additional specialization in music, which she earned from the Bilingual/Multicultural Education Department at California State University, Sacramento. As a recipient of several Artist in Schools and Neighborhoods Arts Grants from the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, Bravo founded and directed the Martin Luther King Jr. Cello Program, which provided after-school cello ensemble and private instruction to children at the Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School for many years. Bravo completed her pedagogical training as a cellist under the direction of Nancy Yamagata, Pam Devenport, Jean Dexter, and Lorraine Fink at the Colburn School of the Arts, the Chicago Institute of Music, and Ithaca College. As the President of the Suzuki Music Association of California/Los Angeles between 2007-2009, Bravo served the organization’s 650+ membership of teachers and families through numerous initiatives, including the direction of annual instrument graduations for 300+ students at the Colburn School of the Arts and other sites (violin, viola, cello, piano, guitar, and flute), the development of a scholarship program for children in the greater Los Angeles area, as well as in securing Claremont College as a new site for the SMAC/LA Summer Institute. The institute continues to serve over one hundred children from the Western United States annually.

Born in Los Angeles, Bravo began cello lessons at age twelve with Gretchen Geber. Her principle teachers were Yehuda Hanani at Peabody Institute of John Hopkins University and later Janet Horvath, Tanya Remenikova, and Andrew Luchansky. She holds an M.M. in Cello Performance from California State University, Sacramento, where she performed professionally in orchestral and chamber music concerts before moving to Germany for a Fulbright Scholarship at the Musicological Institute of the University of Hamburg. Returning to the USA, Bravo built a large cello studio in Los Angeles while completing her Ph.D. at the University of California, Los Angeles and before moving to the United Arab Emirates to join the faculty at NYU Abu Dhabi as a musicologist. In the USA, the UAE, and Europe, Bravo’s work has developed in partnership with diverse cultural and educational institutions. These include the German Fulbright Commission, Berlin-Los Angeles Villa Aurora, Archa Theater Prague, REZN8, the Orel Foundation, Los Angeles Opera, LA Opera-Opera for Educators, Sacramento Metropolitan Art Commission(SMAC), Education Through Music-Los Angeles (ETM-LA), the Suzuki Music Association of Los Angeles (SMAC-LA), Turath Ensemble-Los Angeles, the Abu Dhabi Educational Council (ADEC), the Department of Tourism and Culture’s Abu Dhabi Classics, Abu Dhabi Classic FM Radio, the UAE Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development-Piano Center, the UAE Young Artists Concerto Competition (YACOCO), the Al Ain Youth Festival-Competition: Gardens of Sheikh Zayed, the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute, the NYUAD Hilary Ballon Center for Teaching and Learning, Translucent Borders, and Cambodian Living Arts. Her cello students have been winners and finalists in competitions such as the Kiwanis, the Los Angeles Cello Society Competition, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Young Artist Competition, the Junior Division of the Fischoff National Music Competition (Chamber Music, First Prize), the 2017 United Arab Emirates Best Young Musician of the Year Award (First Prize), and, most recently, the Winner of the 2021 Musivv Award for Best HomeGROWN Emirati Artist of the Year. Bravo lives in the UAE with her family and is proud of her two daughters who love playing the cello.