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, politics, and war in 20th century contexts. Bravo has a broad background in the field of education and has served as the president of several US based, non-profit arts organizations for children. Focused on music as a basis for community building and peace-making, she is developing the Salaam Music Project for the MENA region.

Dr. Bravo 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. 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. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2011 and is a recent graduate of the International Summer School in Forced Migration from the Refugee Studies Center in the Department of International Development at Oxford University in 2016.

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.

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. Active a cello teacher and music educator in Los Angeles for over ten years, 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 as the Kiwanis, the Los Angeles Cello Society Competition, as well as the Los Angeles Philharmonic Young Artist Competition.

As Assistant Professor of Music at NYU Abu Dhabi, Bravo focuses on interdisciplinary approaches to her research and teaching. Her courses and humanities seminars are offered in Abu Dhabi and Berlin under the auspice of diverse programs that include Music, Peace Studies, Writing, Film and New Media, and the Humanities Core. Drawing on her extensive experience as a cellist and pedagogue, she teaches applied cello classes at NYU Abu Dhabi and is the director of the NYUAD Cello Ensemble. In the United Arab Emirates, Bravo has continued her community engagements in the form of outreach concerts, cultural exchanges, and workshops, also serving on the juries of both the United Arab Emirates Young Artists Concerto Competition (YACOCO) and the Al Ain Youth Festival-Competition “Gardens of the Sheik Zayed” in 2014.

A Fulbright scholar to Germany, Bravo worked and published with the research group Exilmusik at the University of Hamburg and has served also as the Visual Research Assistant to Music Director James Conlon at the Los Angeles Opera. Her current book project is the edited volume, Music and War: Global Perspectives Post-1945

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).