Arts & Culture

OfA awards students for excellence in the arts

9 min read

The Office for the Arts at Harvard (OfA) and the Council on the Arts at Harvard, a standing committee of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, recently announced the winners of the annual undergraduate arts prizes presented in recognition of outstanding accomplishment in the arts for the 2007-08 academic year.

Council on the Arts members at the time of selection were Julie Buckler (chair), professor of Slavic languages and literatures and director of graduate studies; Elizabeth Bergmann, director, OfA dance program; S. Allen Counter, director, Harvard Foundation; Deborah Foster, senior lecturer in folklore and mythology; Jorie Graham, Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory; Cathleen McCormick, program director, OfA; Jack Megan, director, OfA; Nancy Mitchnick, Rudolf Arnheim Lecturer on Studio Arts, Visual and Environmental Studies; Robb Moss, Rudolf Arnheim Lecturer on Filmmaking and director of undergraduate studies; Robert J. Orchard, managing director, Loeb Drama Center and the American Repertory Theatre (A.R.T.); Carol Oja, William Powell Mason Lecturer on Music; Marcus Stern, associate director, A.R.T. and the A.R.T./MXAT Institute for Advanced Theatre Training; and John Stewart, senior preceptor in music.

Bong Ihn Koh ’08 and Elizabeth Lim ’08 are recipients of the Louis Sudler Prize in the Arts. The prize recognizes outstanding artistic talent and achievement in the composition or performance of music, drama, dance, or the visual arts. This prize honors the sum of a student’s artistic activities at Harvard.

Koh has been awarded this prize in recognition of his musicianship as a cellist. Born in Korea, Koh began playing the cello as a hobby at the age of 7. At the age of 11, he won the Ewha Kyunghyang National Competition and made a debut with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1997, he won the Third International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians in St. Petersburg, Russia, which led to numerous solo recitals and solo appearances with world-renowned orchestras, such as the Russian Symphony and St. Petersburg Philharmonic. At Harvard, Koh has been a featured soloist with the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra and the Bach Society Orchestra, and has performed in the Arts First festivals from 2006 to 2008 as well as with the Silk Road Ensemble in 2005. He is currently a participant in the five-year Harvard/New England Conservatory Double Degree Program, concentrating in biochemical sciences while studying at the conservatory.

Lim was awarded the prize in recognition of her work in both musical composition and performance. A concentrator in music, Lim began playing the piano at the age of 4 and has been composing since her junior year of high school. Her pieces have received awards from various competitions and organizations and have been performed throughout the United States as well as in Japan and Germany. She was named the 2008 emerging composer-in-residence for the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, and in the past has collaborated with the New York Youth Symphony and the East Coast Chamber Ensemble, among other groups. At Harvard, Lim received the 2006 Hugh F. MacColl Prize in Music Composition for her string quartet, The Dream. She has also played a number of roles in student organizations on campus, including composer for the Harvard Group for New Music. Her upcoming performances include the premiere of “Waltz for Forgotten Time” (for orchestra) and the premiere of “Crossroads” (for string orchestra) to be performed at Stanford University in June.

Alexandra Hays ’09 and James Powers ’08 are recipients of the Council Prize in Visual Arts. This prize recognizes outstanding work in the field of visual arts.

Hays has been awarded this prize for her work in installation and video art. An East Asian Studies concentrator with an emphasis in Visual and Environmental Studies (VES), Hays’ work includes a project that addresses the critique of social customs and expectations of the West’s myopic perspective on the East, especially China. During the summer of 2007, Hays worked as a project manager at Xu Bing Studio in New York, where she assisted with several multimedia artworks, and managed and created “Book From The Ground,” a project exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In addition to her professional achievements, Hays is also the recipient of the Chinese department essay prize, a Richard Solomon Grant for the Arts, and the Asia Center Rokubei Nakajima Undergraduate Grant. On campus, Hays has worked in the Sert Gallery and the Asian Art department of the Harvard University Art Museums. She is the president of The Harvard Advocate, is art and design editor for H Bomb Magazine, and has initiated several public art projects while at Harvard.

A government concentrator, Powers has been awarded this prize for his achievement in both painting and illustrating. Powers, who is pursuing a secondary field in VES, is also a 2007-08 recipient of an Artist Development Fellowship. Powers was awarded this fellowship to continue a series of paintings of industrial scenes in Boston and agricultural landscapes in Minnesota. He is the current vice president of the Harvard Lampoon and has illustrated covers and contents for such on-campus publications as the Lampoon, Harvard Cinematic Review, Harvard Salient, and the Harvard Crimson. Powers also received a commission to execute three paintings of Longfellow Bridge in July 2007.

David Jewett ’08 and Kara Kaufman ’08 are recipients of the Louise Donovan Award. The award recognizes a Harvard student who has done outstanding work behind the scenes in the arts (e.g., as a director, producer, or set designer).

Jewett has been involved as a producer (and in the technical aspects of theater) during his time at Harvard. He has worked in more than 25 productions, taking on such roles as technical director and master carpenter for productions by the Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club (HRDC) and the Harvard-Radcliffe Gilbert and Sullivan Players (HRGSP). He has worked in a number of Harvard theatrical venues including the Agassiz Theatre, Lowell House Dining Hall, Currier House Fishbowl, Loeb Mainstage, and Loeb Experimental Theatre. He also served as technical liaison for HRDC and treasurer of HRGSP. An Earth and planetary sciences concentrator, this semester Jewett directed the April HRGSP production of “Patience.”

Kaufman has been involved in the theater community as a stage manager and producer since her freshman year. She has stage-managed and/or produced more than 11 productions. Kaufman has also served on the HRDC board as communications coordinator and recently completed her term as its president. Other positions she has held include co-producer of the Harvard-Radcliffe Summer Theatre and proctor for the Freshman Arts Program. A literature concentrator, Kaufman will be stage manager for the HRDC’s spring production of “Sweeney Todd.”

Arlo Hill ’08 is the recipient of the Radcliffe Doris Cohen Levi Prize. The prize recognizes a Harvard college student who combines talent and energy with outstanding enthusiasm for musical theater at Harvard. It honors the memory of Doris Cohen Levi (Radcliffe class of 1935).

Hill has made significant contributions as an actor on various stages on the Harvard campus. He has performed in leading roles in HRGSP productions including “Pirates of Penzance” and “H.M.S. Pinafore,” as well as in contemporary musicals like “Bright Lights, Big City” and “The Fantasticks.” A literature concentrator, Hill performed as a soloist on “A Simple Song” in the Leonard Bernstein tribute concert in 2006 at Sanders Theatre, and is a member of the Harvard Krokodiloes. This spring, Hill will perform the title role in the Loeb Mainstage production of Stephen Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd.”

Claudia Schreier ’08 is the recipient of the Suzanne Farrell Dance Prize. Named for the acclaimed dancer and former prima ballerina of the New York City Ballet, the prize recognizes a Harvard undergraduate who has demonstrated outstanding artistry in the field of dance.

Schreier has been awarded this prize for her outstanding work as a dancer and choreographer. A sociology concentrator, Schreier has been a company member of the Harvard Ballet Company and the Harvard Contemporary Dance Ensemble since 2004. Both groups have featured her choreography in performances, including pieces featuring the music of Philip Glass, Gabriel Fauré, and Giuseppe Tartini. Her ballet “Elysium” was chosen to represent Harvard at the American College Dance Festival for adjudication and was selected for the gala performance in February. The piece was also part of the Ivies @ Cunningham presentation in New York City this past March. She has been a featured dancer in numerous performances including Balanchine’s “Serenade,” “Apollo,” “Who Cares?” and “Emeralds.” This spring she will dance in performances of Paul Taylor’s “Aureole” in the Office for the Arts’ Dance Program production “Dancers’ Viewpointe 8,” and she will premiere a new ballet for the Harvard Ballet Company’s spring performances.

Sophie Kargman ’08 is the recipient of the Jonathan Levy Award in Drama. This prize recognizes the most promising undergraduate actor at the College. A special concentrator in theater studies, Kargman has been gracing the stage of the Loeb Mainstage and Experimental Theatres since she first arrived at Harvard. Highlights include Nina in Chekhov’s “The Seagull,” woman in Neil LaBute’s “Autobahn: A Play Cycle,” and Rosalie in the inaugural production at the New College Theater of Arthur Kopit’s ‘59 “Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mamma’s Hung You in the Closet and I’m Feelin’ So Sad.” In addition to theatre, she has been featured in nine student films. Kargman has trained and performed at the Atlantic Theatre Company as well as the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Additionally, she is the current undergraduate liaison of Harvardwood, a nonprofit organization for Harvard University alumni and students in the arts, media, and entertainment.

The OfA supports student engagement in the arts and serves the University in its commitment to the arts. Through its programs and services, it fosters student art-making, connects students to accomplished artists, integrates the arts into University life, and partners with local, national, and international constituencies. By supporting the development of students as artists and cultural stewards, the OfA works to enrich society and shape communities in which the arts are a vital part of life. For more information, visit