Gabriela Bohnett


Gabriela  Bohnett, OneWorld Symphonic Festival’s Artistic and Executive Director  and Principal Conductor, is a dauntless, energetic advocate for music  education, a champion of early childhood development through musical  training, and a passionate believer in the classical arts as a means of  elevating social and family values. Her  natural approach to teaching, performing and promoting music is the  result of growing up in a musical family, the second of five siblings,  all accomplished musicians. Away from his daily duties as a medical  doctor, her father Edgar Morillo is a talented serenade and Venezuelan  folk music artist, and her mother, Nancy Piña, from age five already a  familiar voice on Venezuelan National Radio (she sang the musical  introduction to that network’s daily broadcast), later became known as  the “Queen of Folk” and released several hits in that genre. Gabriela  went through childhood and youth singing and performing with her  close-knit family, affectionately nicknamed by friends “The Von Trapps  of Barquisimeto.”

Academically speaking, Gabriela is a product  of “El Sistema,” the world-renowned music education system established  in Venezuela by Maestro José Antonio Abreu and later adopted by UNESCO  as a model for forming youth orchestras in many countries. Through high  school in her native Barquisimeto she performed with the Lara State  Youth Orchestra, and then with the Chacao Symphony Orchestra during  college in Caracas. After completing studies in the Vicente Emilio Sojo  and Jacinto Lara musical conservatories in Venezuela, along with a  Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, she moved to the United States  where she pursued a Master’s degree and, subsequently, a Doctorate  degree in Education and Curriculum, and completed studies in Early  Childhood Music, including Orff and Kodaly certification, Suzuki Violin  Method teaching certification, orchestral conducting, violin performance  and violin pedagogy studies at Catholic University of America, George  Mason University and Juilliard School of Music.

Gabriela is  currently pursuing a Licentiate in Symphony Orchestra Conducting from  the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM). She has  performed with the Washington Symphony Orchestra, is a member of the  Suzuki Association of the Greater Washington Area, the American String  Teachers Association, the Northern Virginia Music Teachers Association,  the Music Teachers National Association and the Suzuki Association of  the Americas. Gabriela receives constant invitations to conduct and  teach around the world. She also serves as a teacher, orchestra  consultant, strings clinician and guest conductor in the Washington DC  metropolitan area.

In December 2003 Gabriela founded the Youth  Music Preservation and Promotion Association (YMPPA), dedicated to  extend the wonders of classical music to the broader community. Through  the YMPPA she has launched initiatives such as the International Youth  Orchestra (IYO); the International Music Internship (IMI)—through which  international music students receive assistance in pursuing educational  opportunities in the USA; the Society Youth Orchestra (SYO)—an outreach  program for underprivileged and underserved youth in Loudoun County; and  the Ashburn Youth Symphony Orchestras (AYSO)—an educational and  performance program offering chamber and symphony orchestra  opportunities to children and teens.

In January  2018, Gabriela founded the premiering non-profit organization and event  OneWorld Symphonic Festival, which will gather musicians from every  continent in the Washington, DC metro area for a week of rehearsals and  concerts. OneWorld, a re-conceptualization of the original International  Youth Orchestra, is very similar to what it has been since it started  in 2004, but Gabriela believes that the OneWorld name better expresses  what the mission of the event is: to create ONEWORLD through music.