Dr. Gwyneth Bravo, PhD

Cello Teacher

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, and media studies.

Bravo has a broad background in the field of education and was the founder and president of several US-based non-profit organizations for children, including the Martin Luther King Jr. Cello Program and the Suzuki Music Association of Los Angeles (SMAC/LA). Focused on music and music education as a platform for community building in school and neighborhood contexts, she continues to serve as an advocate for arts-based educational initiates in the UAE as well as in the MENA region.

Bravo received her PhD in Musicology from the University of California, Los Angeles in 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.

As a child she studied in Los Angeles with Gretchen Geber, later studying with Yehuda Hanani at Peabody Conservatory and with Janet Horvath and Tanya Remenikova in Minneapolis. She holds an M.M. in Cello Performance from California State University, Sacramento where she served as the cello instructor for the Community Music Division of the university. Professionally engaged as a cellist and teacher in Los Angeles for over ten years years, Bravo served as the President of the Suzuki Music Association of California/Los Angeles between 2007-2009 and on its board for five years. 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, the Junior Division of the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, and the UAE Best Young Musician of the Year in 2017.

As Assistant Professor of Music at NYUAD, Bravo focuses on interdisciplinary approaches to her research and teaching. Her seminars are offered in Abu Dhabi, Berlin, and Prague through Music, Peace Studies, Writing, Film and New Media, as well as the Humanities Core curriculum. As the Director of the NYUAD Cello Ensemble from 2014-2017, she facilitated the development of an annual “CelloNation” Concert, which featured 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.

Professional Affiliation:
• American Musicological Society (AMS)
• Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM)
• International Musicological Society (IMS)
• Suzuki Association of the Americas (SAA)