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, February 06, 2016 Edit This

Welcome Home From Boston

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.

Boston, Massachusetts

Saturday, December 05, 2015

This week’s program features the first American pianist since 1966 to win the Silver Medal at the famous International Tchaikovsky Competition.

Big Sky, Montana

Saturday, November 28, 2015

From Big Sky, Montana, this week’s program features a young pianist who conjures up a great seascape through his multi-layered performance of the music of Maurice Ravel.

Highlight Show 19

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Gunther Schuller, the late American composer, conductor, author, music educator, jazz innovator, and french horn player is the special guest artist on From the Top this week.

Atlanta, Georgia

Saturday, November 14, 2015

From Atlanta, Georgia, this week’s episode features a thrilling performance by a local public school choir, 14-year-old cellist and more.

Coral Gables, FL

Saturday, November 07, 2015

From the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida, this week’s From the Top features a remarkably bold and confident performance by a 14-year-old violinist from South Florida.

Aspen Music Festival and School

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Tune in at 6am Saturday for this week's episode featuring a pianist who’s just twelve years old performs the music of Robert Schumann.


Highlights from the Vaults

Saturday, October 24, 2015

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

Interlochen, Michigan

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The mighty Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra, directed by Dr. Carolyn Watson, performs a world premiere inspired by the story of The Three Musketeers.

Vail, Colorado

Saturday, October 10, 2015

From the Bravo! Vail Festival in Vail, Colo., this week’s From the Top features one of the top training orchestras in the United States, The National Repertory Orchestra.

Denver, Colorado

Saturday, October 03, 2015

This week’s From the Top features a special guest appearance by one of America’s finest living film composers, Danny Elfman.

Chautauqua, New York

Saturday, September 26, 2015

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.

Wellesley, Massachusetts

Saturday, September 19, 2015

From Wellesley, Mass., this week’s From the Top pays tribute to Jewish composers and Jewish music.

A House Concert in Boston, Massachusetts

Saturday, September 12, 2015

In the contemporary spirit of intimate performance trends like Groupmuse, From the Top presents its first "House Concert" from Boston.