From the Top

Airs Saturdays at 6 am on WQXR.

Hosted by acclaimed pianist Christopher O’Riley, each one-hour broadcast presents five high-caliber performances along with interviews, sketches and games, revealing the heart and soul behind extraordinary young musicians. Now in its tenth year on air, From the Top is taped before live audiences in concert halls from Boston to Honolulu. Over the years some of the most prominent figures in classical music have appeared alongside young talent on From the Top. These guest artists include Yo-Yo Ma, Hilary Hahn, Bobby McFerrin, Midori, Béla Fleck and many more. Alumni of From the Top are now popping up in the country’s top orchestras and emerging with solo careers.

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Latest Episode / Saturday, December 20, 2014 Edit This

Tacoma, Washington

From Tacoma, Wash., this episode features Prokofiev’s Toccata performed with a level of energy that can only be described as "diabolically teenage."

Highlight Show: Recorded in Studio

Saturday, December 13, 2014

This week's highlights show centers around "The Big Story," featuring stories that are unusually compelling.

Miami, Florida

Saturday, November 29, 2014

From the Top comes to you from New World Center in Miami Beach. Among the featured performers, you'll meet a 13-year-old violinist who’s studying with a New World Symphony.

Washington, D.C.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

From Washington, D.C., this week’s program includes one of the youngest performers From the Top has ever featured: an 8-year-old Bolivian-American pianist.

Cincinnati, Ohio

Saturday, November 15, 2014

From Corbett Auditorium in Cincinnati, Ohio, this week's program features one of the strongest pre-collegiate music programs in the country: The Cincinnati Starling Project.

At Home in Boston, Massachusetts

Saturday, November 08, 2014

From our home in Boston, this week’s program features a 13-year-old violinist whose performance of the music of Robert Schumann beautifully conveys the composer’s romantic fervor.

The Aspen Music Festival

Saturday, November 01, 2014

This week, From the Top comes to you from Harris Concert Hall at the Aspen Music Festival and School.

Aspen, Colorado

Saturday, October 11, 2014

This week’s program comes from the Aspen Music Festival and School in Aspen, Colo., where many of the world’s top young musicians come to study during the summer.

Boston, Massachusetts

Saturday, October 04, 2014

This week's From the Top is broadcast from Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, as part of the Massachusetts' Cultural Council's National Summit on Creative Youth Development.

Salem, Massachusetts

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Each performer on this week's show chose a piece of art from the Peabody Essex Museum's collection that they felt connected with their music in some way.

Highlight Show: Recorded in Studio

Saturday, September 20, 2014

This week, host Christopher O'Riley catches up with some of From the Top's most illustrious alumni in the "Where Are They Now Show."

Sidney, Maine

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Meet a harpist who shares some wonderful stories about growing up studying music on rugged and rural Mount Desert Island, Maine.

Rochester, New York

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Special guest Sir James Galway joins From the Top this week to lead an ensemble of young wind players.

San Marcos, Texas

Saturday, August 30, 2014

This week's From the Top comes to you from Evans Auditorium at the Texas State University in San Marcos, the site of the Texas State International Piano Festival.

Princeton, New Jersey

Saturday, August 23, 2014

This week's From the Top, from Richardson Auditorium on the campus of Princeton University, celebrates the 75th anniversary of the American Boychoir.

New Albany, Ohio

Saturday, August 16, 2014

This week, From the Top is at the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts in New Albany, Ohio.

El Paso, Texas

Saturday, August 09, 2014

This week, From the Top comes to you from the historic Plaza Theater in El Paso, Texas.

Boston, Massachusetts

Saturday, August 02, 2014

This week From the Top brings you to Jordan Hall in Boston, Mass., for a series of string performances, and one piano. The program features “The Lark” by Mikhail Glinka brought to life by a wonderfully musical 11-year-old pianist. We'll also enjoy some unaccompanied Bach performed by a very thoughtful Boston-area teenager and a teenage string quartet shares moving stories about the healing power of music in their own lives.

The National Youth Orchestra of the USA in Purchase, New York

Saturday, July 26, 2014

This week, From the Top is broadcasting from SUNY Purchase where the National Youth Orchestra of the USA has been in residence for two weeks, preparing for its national tour.

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Saturday, July 12, 2014

From Chattanooga, Tenn., this week From the Top features an uproarious performance of the music of Japanese composer and pianist Hiromi Uehara, performed by a 14-year-old girl from nearby Maryville, Tenn. We'll also hear from a young singer who has raised more than $14,000 for arts programs at the local schools, and a local teenage guitar quartet serenades us with a classical arrangement of an Appalachian folk song.

Costa Mesa, California

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Presented by the Pacific Symphony, this week's From the Top comes to you from Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa, Calif. Among the highlights, you'll hear the beautiful andante from the Rachmoninoff Cello Sonata in G minor performed by a 16-year-old from San Francisco, and enjoy a Buxtehude praeludium played by a teenage organist. Also, an award-winning choir sings pieces by Samuel Barber and Eric Whitacre, and a 14-year-old pianist plays Stravinsky.