3 Oberlin Conservatory Alumni Win 2022 Guggenheim Fellowships

Annual awards support research or creative endeavors across a range of disciplines.

April 22, 2022

Erich Burnett

Phyllis Chen, Peter Evans, and César Alvarez.

Three Oberlin Conservatory alumni are recipients of 2022 Guggenheim Fellowships in  support of future research or creative projects.

Composer and sound artist Phyllis Chen ’97 and trumpeter-composer Peter Evans ’03 were awarded in the Composition category. Playwright and composer César Alavarez ’03 was selected for Drama and Performance.

A former piano performance major in the studio of Robert Shannon, Chen (pictured left) has forged a career creating music on and for marginalized and unconventional instruments, including toy pianos and music boxes. She is a professor in the music department at the State University of New York at New Paltz.

Evans (pictured center) has cultivated a vibrant and varied career in New York, where he performs with a number of groups, most notably as leader of the Peter Evans Ensemble and Being and Becoming. He has collaborated with a wide range of musicians, from John Zorn to Kanye West, and his compositions have been commissioned by the International Contemporary Ensemble, Yarn/Wire, and others.

Initially a jazz saxophonist who completed an individual independent major incorporating studies in TIMARA at Oberlin, Alvarez (pictured right) operates between the worlds of theater, music, performance art, and social practice, with a specialization in large-scale experimental musicals. An assistant professor of music at Dartmouth College, Alvarez was also the winner of the 2022 Kleban Prize in Musical Theatre for lyrics.

The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation was established in 1925 to support advanced scholarship or artistic endeavors among exceptional individuals at the midpoint of their careers. Each year, the foundation selects approximately 175 fellows from a pool of 3,000 applicants. Fellowships are accompanied by a grant and are awarded across a comprehensive range of disciplines encompassing sciences, fine art, performing arts, and more.

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