Cecilia Brauer, celeste
Cecilia Gniewek Brauer was born in Detroit, Michigan and moved to Long island where she began her piano studies at the age of nine. At age 14, she won a scholarship to study at the Curtis Institute of Music with the great Isabelle Vengerova. Later teachers included Edwin Hughes and Muriel Kerr. She has toured the US as a recitalist and as an accompanist with the National Music League. She has often performed in many concerts with her brother, Raymond Gniewek, former concertmaster of the Met Orchestra for 43 years… (She has always been so proud of what he has accomplished).
In 1972, she joined the Met Opera Orchestra as an associate playing the celeste and was the official pianist of the orchestra from 1993 through 2002 In 1990, she started another career on the Armonica, the musical glass instrument invented in 1761 by Benjamin Franklin. Her program, "Ben Franklin and the Armonica", has been presented at many venues which have included The National Archives and Portrait Gallery, Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Carnegie Museum, Independence National Park, History Channel, CBS TV and Japanese TV, plus many historical sites, libraries and schools.
History was made at the Met in 1992 and in Tokyo in 2011, when the Armonica was played for the first time in the opera, "Lucia di Lammermoor" as scored by Donizetti and then in 2013 in the opera "Die Frau Ohne Schatten" as scored by Richard Strauss.
She has a very informative website at www.gigmasters.com/armonica/