John Hoffmeyer, Certificate Student, Awarded Rhodes Scholarship

Congratulations to John Hoffmeyer, a Department Certificate Student in Piano Performance, who is one of three Princeton students to be awarded the Rhodes Scholarship!

Excerpt from the Office of Communications:

Hoffmeyer, of Florence, South Carolina, is majoring in comparative literature and pursuing certificates in Chinese language and culture and music performance (piano). At Oxford, he plans to pursue the M.St. in Modern Languages.

His research analyzes the interplay between music and literature, and his interests lie in extending access to music to more people and communities. A distinguished musician, he earned a silver medal at the 2015 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and was a Young Artist at the Southeastern Piano Festival, where he also helped judge the Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition. 

“John is one of the most impressive undergraduate students I have met in almost two decades of teaching at Princeton,” said Daniel Heller-Roazen, the Arthur W. Marks ’19 Professor of Comparative Literature and the Council of the Humanities. “He is at once extraordinarily talented, deeply committed to learning and passionately devoted to the study of fields rarely pursued by a single student: literature, philosophy, music history and piano performance.”

Heller-Roazen added: “John has also mastered a set of skills rarely to be observed, even among our very best students. He writes about 20th century German philosophy with subtlety and precision. He’s a distinguished linguist, having studied French, German and Chinese. Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that, even as he has pursued his scholarly interests, John has become a serious pianist, with a deep interest in the history of music.”

Hoffmeyer founded the Princeton Chamber Music Society (PCMS) last year with the goal of extending access to Princeton’s music faculty to communities beyond campus.

“The core of PCMS’ mission lies in musical and scholastic enrichment through accessible chances for collaboration,” Hoffmeyer said. “We place musicians in small groups based on interests, time commitment and level of experience, giving them access to coaching from Princeton faculty and performance opportunities across campus and beyond. I didn’t imagine … that through perseverance, commitment, and a shared set of ideals, we would organize a ten-concert series for the 2018-19 year, along with masterclasses, guest artists and outreach opportunities on campus and beyond.”

Hoffmeyer said his time at Oxford will allow him to grow as a scholar and a performer.  

“While at Oxford, I plan to work with students and faculty on campus, along with the Oxford Chamber Music Society, to develop interdisciplinary performance opportunities like what PCMS has offered at Princeton,” he said. “The Rhodes Scholarship thus offers me the chance to foster enriching collaborative opportunities between musical performance and academic scholarship through inter-institutional and international exchange, and these experiences would carry me into my career path.”

Following his studies at Oxford, Hoffmeyer said he hopes to complete a Ph.D. in music or comparative literature, and present lecture-recitals that cross between music, literature and philosophy.

Hoffmeyer is a member of Mathey College at Princeton. He also is the Princeton ambassador for the Intercollegiate Chamber Music Festival, a student representative on the Princeton University Concerts Committee and a fellow at the Writing Center. He previously was co-president of the student music ensemble Opus 21, a member of the Princeton Shakespeare Company and a co-project leader of Princeton Music Outreach. 


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