From The Top

Based in Boston, From the Top is an independent non-profit organization that celebrates the power of music in the hands of extraordinary young people, reaching more than one million people each year. As the preeminent showcase for young musicians, From the Top shines a light on diverse young people ages 8 to 18 by sharing their stories and performances, providing scholarships, and engaging them as leaders in national broadcasts, live concerts and outreach events across the country. These musicians are role models for all ages, proving the value of hard work in the pursuit of excellence. With From the Top's support, they are inspiring and building audiences with a new appreciation for classical music.

Sunday 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM on Classical WSMR 89.1 and 103.9

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Chris O'Riley

From his groundbreaking transcriptions of Radiohead to his unforgettable interpretations of classic and new repertoire, pianist Christopher O'Riley has redefined the possibilities of classical music.

As host of From the Top, O'Riley works and performs with the next generation of brilliant young musicians, demonstrating to audiences, with humor and a lack of pretension, that these young artists are no different than any other child. In 2007, his successful run as host of From the Top was marked by the debut of the PBS television series From the Top: Live from Carnegie Hall.

An interpreter and arranger of some of the most important contemporary rock... Read More...

From From The Top

  • From the Top Music Rehearsal / The Passion of Piazzolla
    Christopher O'Riley coaches a brilliant young cellist through Piazzolla's "Le Grand Tango"
  • Show 331 | Honolulu HI
    From the Top returns to Honolulu, Hawaii with a program that features the excellent Hawaii Youth Symphony Orchestra performing a wonderful work inspired by vintage popular music from the islands ... We hear this year's 13-year-old junior winner of the prestigious Menuhin International Violin Competition and perform the music of Prokofiev ... and we meet a 15-year-old clarinetist who got his start in the visionary free urban music training programs of Los Angeles.
  • The making of a new Hawaiian opera
    Composer Herbert Mahelona discusses his opera Ha'upu
  • Show 330 | Kea'au HI
    From the town of Kea'au on the "Big Island" of Hawaii, this week's program features a young Hawaiian vocal ensemble performing segments from an opera inspired by Hawaiian myth and sung in the Hawaiian language. Also a young violinist who grew up in a very unusual home deep in the woods and totally off the power grid, performs the lyrical music of William Grant Still.
  • Getting into the musical weeds with Kirchner
    Christopher O'Riley and teen pianist Evren Ozel discuss the literary underpinnings of Kirchner's "Interlude One"
  • Show 329 | St Paul MN
    From St. Paul, Minnesota, this week's program features all Minnesota performers. We'll enjoy a virtuosic performance of Ernesto Cavallini's Adagio and Tarantella by 17-year-old clarinetist Anders Peterson, a teenage pianist shares the story of how he handpicked his stepfather when he was four years old, and and a brother and sister piano duo perform a raucous four-hands arrangement of Schubert's Der Erlkonig.
  • Married alums Peter Dugan and Kara Sainz sing Gershwin
    "Embraceable You" by George and Ira Gershwin sung by From the Top married Alums Peter Dugan and Kara Sainz.
  • Show HL-27 | Highlights Show
    Featuring music and interviews with From the Top alumni who are now professional musicians, this "Where Are They Now" episode brings a delightful mix of performances of Ravel, Gershwin, Schumann, and an original work from one of From the Top's up-and-coming composer alumni.
  • What's German about Nikolai Medtner
    Host Christopher O'Riley and 16-year-old pianist Wenfang Han discuss the roots and musical motifs of the fifth movement Nikolai Medtner's Sonata Tragica.
  • Show 328 | Boston MA
    From Boston Massachusetts this week's episode features a 12-year-old cellist performing a showpiece by David Popper, we hear a moving setting of a Newfoundland folks song performed by the Young Women's Chamber Choir of Boston's famous Handel and Haydn Society ... and we'll meet a Boston teenager so zealous about studying classical music, he managed to cram 4 instruments, 2 Boston orchestras and a chorus into his life. Tickets to our upcoming live recording in Boston on February 11, 2018 are now available! Get them at


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