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.

Schedule:

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

Contact Info:

Contact the Show

Host:
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.

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From From The Top

  • 10 Questions for the Great Conductor, Marin Alsop
    Host Christopher O'Riley interviews conductor, Marin Alsop.
  • Show 343 | Purchase, New York
    From Purchase, New York, this week's From the Top highlights the 115 incredible young musicians that make up Carnegie Hall's National Youth Orchestra of the USA. Featured on the program are four performances by the full ensemble under renowned conductor Marin Alsop including an adrenaline-inducing performance of John Adams' "Short Ride in a Fast Machine" and a newly-commissioned work by composer Gabriela Lena Frank.
  • What a classical violinist can learn from Gypsy Jazz
    Christopher O'RIley and teenage violinist, John Fawcett talk about nuanced bowing technique.
  • Show 352 | Berkeley CA
    From the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, this week's From the Top features the winning ensemble of KDFC's Local Vocals High School Choir Sing-Off and, at 120 singers, it's the largest choir ever featured on the program. We meet a 17-year-old pianist with a moving story to tell about losing access to her beloved piano for financial reasons and how she overcame that situation ... and a young string quartet performs the rhapsodic first movement of Debussy's string quartet in G major, Op. 10.
  • Peter Dugan's Tribute to Aretha Franklin & Philly
    Guest Host Peter Dugan created a special arrangement in honor of the late Aretha Franklin and his hometown of Philadelphia and performed it during the live recording of NPR's From the Top Show 359.
  • Show 359: Feat. Guest Host Peter Dugan, a violin/guitar duo, a 15-year-old pianist and more!
    From picturesque Longwood Gardens outside Philadelphia, From the Top, with this week's Guest Host Peter Dugan, features an exciting array of young talent – including a young violinist who got her start in the El Sistema-inspired music program, Play-On Philly, a violin and guitar duo performs a dramatic tango, and a young cellist who once performed at a Chicago Bulls game. Performers and repertoire 17-year-old cellist Jack Boettcher from Naperville, Illinois performs Pampeana No. 2, Op. 21 for Cello and Piano by Alberto Ginastera (1916-1983), with Peter Dugan, piano 15-year-old pianist Angeline Ma from Berwyn, Pennsylvania performs Waltz in F major, Op. 34 no. 3 and Waltz in A flat major, Op. 42 by Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) Duo FaRi – 17-year-old violinist Faustina Housner from Cherry Hill, New Jersey and 18-year-old guitarist Ria Modak from New York, New York performs Histoire du Tango: Cafe 1930 by Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992) 18-year-old violinist Akili Farrow from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania performs: Sonatensatz in C Minor by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897), with Peter Dugan, piano 17-year-old clarinetist Andrew Chang from Rowland Heights, California performs: IV. Andante molto - allegro energico from "Time Pieces" for Clarinet and Piano, Op. 43 by Robert Muczynski (1929-2010), with Peter Dugan, piano 15-year-old pianist Angeline Ma from Berwyn, Pennsylvania performs I. Prelude from Eight Concert Études, Op 40 by Nikolai Kapustin (b.1937)
  • A new work by From the Top Alum, Conrad Tao
    Christopher O'Riley and Conrad talk about Conrad's vibrant career as a composer and pianist and we hear his new piece, "Asymptotes."
  • Show 342 | Santa Barbara CA
    From Santa Barbara, California, this week's From the Top features fantastic musicians who are studying at the prestigious Music Academy of the West, which celebrates its 70th Anniversary this year. We'll hear a young pianist perform one of Rachmaninoff's most complex pieces for the piano, a teenage violinist recounts a life-changing realization, and we feature a world-premiere of "Asymptotes", a newly commissioned work for clarinet, viola, and piano from composer and From the Top alum, Conrad Tao.
  • Show 358 | Roxbury Crossing MA
    From the Media Arts Center at Roxbury Community College, this episode of From the Top brings together a cast of fantastic young performers with an all-student audience! We meet a remarkable 13-year-old pianist who shares how much happier she became when she stopped comparing herself to others, a teenage trombone quartet performs two pieces back-to-back that were composed centuries apart, and students from the audience ask the performers questions onstage.
  • A brilliant teen guitarist and refugee shares his music
    Parsa Sabet Rasekhi talks with host Christopher O'Riley about his journey to America from Iran and then performs his own composition. "Snowflight."