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, May 07, 2016 Edit This

Winners of the Mondavi Center Young Artist Competition

Past and present winners of the Mondavi Center Young Artist Competition at U.C. Davis perform on this week's episode of From the Top.

From the Top Returns to the Aspen Music Festival

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Host Christopher O'Riley visits Aspen Music Festival in Colorado to feature young talented musicians honing their crafts there.

From the Top Visits Lake Jackson, Texas

Saturday, April 23, 2016

From the Top visits the Gulf Coast of Texas to feature a trio of young musicians from within the state, as well as other emerging talents from around the country.

Highlight Show 22

Saturday, April 16, 2016

This week From the Top revisits a selection of notable performances, including a one featuring an original work by a then 16-year-old Conrad Tao.

Lubbock, Texas Hosts From the Top

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Host Christopher O'Riley introduces young musicians from around the country at Texas Tech University's Allen Theater in western Texas.

The National Repertory Orchestra Performs at Bravo! Vail

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Christopher O'Riley hosts young talented musicians and the National Repertory Orchestra at the Bravo! Vail summer festival in Colorado.

From the Top Visits San Jose

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Host Christopher O'Riley features a group of talented young musicians all from the state of California on this program, recorded at San Jose State University.

Chautauqua, New York

Saturday, March 19, 2016

From the Top returns to the Chautauqua Institution for a summer show filled with amazing performances and inspiring stories from some of America’s best young classical musicians.

Back in Boston, Mass.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Host Christopher O'Riley returns to From the Top's home base in Beantown to showcase talented young musicians from the area, as well as around the country.

Past and Present Award Winners Perform in Washington, D.C.

Saturday, March 05, 2016

From the Top celebrates its partnership with the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, featuring performances by present and former winners of the organization's young artist award. 

The Louisville Youth Symphony

Saturday, February 27, 2016

From the Top visits Louisville, Ky. this week to showcase performances by a local youth symphony and talented teenage soloists.

An Intimate House Concert in Boston

Saturday, February 20, 2016

From the Top presents its first 'house concert,' with an 11-year-old cellist and other young musicians playing chamber music in intimate surroundings. 

Mozart, Grieg and a Premiere with the Rochester Philharmonic

Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra accompanies young soloists in a selection of Grieg and Mozart concerti, and premieres a work by a 16-year-old composer on From the Top. 

Welcome Home From Boston

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Recorded in Boston, this week’s program features a 13-year-old violinist whose captures Robert Schumann's romantic fervor and other performances from young musicians.

Matt Haimovitz Performs from the San Francisco Conservatory

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Cellist Matt Haimovitz conducts a special performance of "Angel Heart, a musical storybook," plus performances by standout young artists.

Where Are They Now?

Saturday, January 23, 2016

This week’s special “Where Are They Now?” episode traces the lives of five different From the Top alums to learn how these young artists are negotiating their lives in their twenties.


Listen: Boston Children's Chorus

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Listen to this week's special episode recorded at the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Boston celebrating the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Listen: Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky from Naples, Florida

Saturday, January 09, 2016

NPR’s From the Top with Host Christopher O’Riley comes to Hayes Hall in Naples, Florida.

Backstage at Fischoff

Saturday, December 26, 2015

From the Top comes to The Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition at the University of Notre Dame.


Orono, Maine

Saturday, December 19, 2015

From Orono, Maine, this week’s program features violinist, educator, and composer Mark O’Connor as a special guest artist.

Highlight Show 23

Saturday, December 12, 2015

This “Mostly Music” highlights program celebrates some of the best performances by young people From the Top has presented over the past couple of seasons.