Gwyneth Bravo is an Assistant Professor of Music at NYU Abu Dhabi and a Global Network Assistant Professor at NYU New York. She holds a PhD in Historical Musicology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her research examines the relationship between music, politics, and philosophy in twentieth and twenty-first-century European and global contexts, with a focus on nationalism, migration, gender studies, and conflict. As a Fulbright scholar at the Musicological Institute of the University of Hamburg, Bravo worked with the research group Exilmusik, publishing in Lebenswege von Musikerrinen im Dritten Reich und im Exil (von Bockel Verlag) — a volume examining the impact of National Socialism, forced migration, and exile on European, women musicians during the period 1933-1945. As a development of her research focused on composers belonging to the interwar avant-garde in Prague, Bravo published a biography of Viktor Ullmann (Orel Foundation) and recently co-authored the chapter “Mortal Encounters, Immortal Rendezvous: Literary-Musical Counterpoints between Erwin Schulhoff's Flammen and Karel Josef Beneš's Don Juan (with Brian S. Locke) in New Paths in Opera: Martinů, Burian, Hába, Schulhoff, Ullmann (Vienna: Hollitzer-2022).
Current projects include her monograph Staging Death: Opera’s Mortal Imagination in Works from Prague to Theresienstadt (forthcoming) and new research, which explores the intersectionality of memory, trauma, and commemorative practices in diverse global, post-1945 symphonic and choral works, with a focus on Cambodia. Her 2022 published interview with Cambodian composer Him Sophy “(Re)orchestrating Histories: An Interview with Cambodian Composer Him Sophy” appeared in the recent Swiss Journal of Musicology focused (“Times of Crisis: Conflicts and Wars”: New Series 39), and her biography of the composer for Oxford’s Grove Music Online is forthcoming early in 2023 as part of other related projects. As an outgrowth of her research, Bravo has presented her scholarship at conferences of the American Musicological Society (AMS), the International Musicological Society (IMS), the International Musicological Society of East Asia (IMSEA), the College Music Society (CMS), the Fulbright Association, among many others.
Bravo’s research has been supported by the German Fulbright Commission, the NYU Office of the Provost Curricular Development Challenge Fund Award (co-PI for Global Creative Collaboration: Artistic Dialogue Across Borders, 2019-2020), an NYUAD Dean of Science Grant (Peace Fellow Lecture Series and Residency, 2019-2020), an NYUAD Institute Workshop Grant (as co-PI and co-Convener with Andy Teirstein of Translucent Borders: Dance and Music in Global Dialogue, 2019), a University of California, Los Angeles Collegium of University Teaching Fellowship (CUTF, 2009), a UCLA President’s Fellowship, as well by numerous, earlier grants received from the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission for her work with children in Sacramento Public Schools (Artist in Schools and Neighborhood Arts Grants). Earlier, Bravo was the recipient of the Ingolf Dahl Award in Musicology for her paper examining Ullmann’s Der Kaiser von Atlantis (Pacific Southwest and Northern California Chapters of the American Musicological Society, 2007).
Additionally, Bravo’s work has been the impetus for the development of numerous partnerships with diverse cultural and educational institutions in the USA, the United Arab Emirates, Southeast Asia, and Europe. These include the Los Angeles Opera, the Los Angeles Opera for Educators Program, the Berlin-Los Angeles Villa Aurora, REZN8, the Orel Foundation, Turath Ensemble, Translucent Borders, the Abu Dhabi Educational Council (ADEC), the Abu Dhabi Department of Tourism and Culture’s Abu Dhabi Classics, the UAE Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development-Piano Center, the Suzuki Music Association of Los Angeles (SMAC-LA), Cambodian Living Arts, the German and the Polish-American Fulbright Commissions, and the Archa Theater in Prague, among others. As an outgrowth of her partnership with LA Opera’s Music Director James Conlon on the 2007 Recovered Voices production, Bravo developed, produced, and directed Music-Memory-Metamorphoses — a multidisciplinary production of composer Viktor Ullmann’s 1944 melodrama Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornets Christoph Rilke. Premiered at the 2012 international conference “Reimagining Erwin Schulhoff and Viktor Ullmann and the German-Jewish-Czech World,” the work received its Prague premiere at the Archa Theater in 2018 and will be produced there again in 2025.
As a historical musicologist, Bravo focuses on interdisciplinary approaches to her research and teaching. Her courses are taught at NYU Abu Dhabi, NYU Berlin, and NYU Prague and are offered through diverse programs, including Music, History, Film and New Media, Peace Studies, Heritage Studies, and the Humanities Core. At NYUAD, Bravo also founded and directs the NYUAD Cello Ensemble. With support from the NYUAD Institute and the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism’s Abu Dhabi Classics, Bravo developed a series of CelloNation concerts and residencies at NYUAD which, featured the Cello Ensemble in performances with guest cellists Jamison Platte (2014), Tchaikovsky Gold Medal Winner Narek Hakhnazaryan (2015), and French cellist Yan Levionnois (2016). The NYUAD Cello Ensemble returned to the stage in 2022 and will appear again in 2023-2024 with a multidisciplinary concert featuring guest solo cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan.
Bravo has global leadership experience in higher education, as well as in the non-profit sector as a founder and president, and currently serves on the NYU-Prague Global Faculty Advisory Committee, the NYUAD Peace Studies Faculty Committee, and the NYUAD Inclusion Equity and Action Committee. Previously, she was an elected member of the NYUAD Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee (2019-2021) and an appointed member of the first NYUAD Arts and Humanities DEI Committee (2015-2016). Bravo served as the chair of the American Musicological Society Performance Committee in 2021 — and a committee member from 2020-2022 — and in this role facilitated the lecture-performances for the annual 2021 AMS conference. As a task force member of the College Music Society Presidential Taskforce for Leading Change in Music in Higher Education (2021-2023), Bravo worked with colleagues from diverse institutions to conduct an 18-month-long examination of the state of the music profession in and out of the academy to develop a vision and strategies for leading change in music in higher education with a focus on diversity equity, inclusion and belonging. Bravo is a 2016 graduate of the International Summer School in Forced Migration from the Refugee Studies Center at Oxford University.