From the Top : About

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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Show 274|San Marcos, TX

Monday, August 25 2014 09:33 PM

This week's From the Top comes to you from the Texas State International Piano Festival in San Marcos, Texas. Appropriately, all the performances on the program include the piano. We'll enjoy one of Maurice Ravel's best-loved pieces for solo piano performed by an expressive 16-year-old from New Jersey, and we'll hear a new piece for piano and voice written by a composer who's just 13-years-old.

 

Show 272 | Princeton, NJ

Monday, August 18 2014 10:03 PM

From Princeton, New Jersey, From the Top celebrates the 75th anniversary of the world renowned, American Boychoir. As our special featured guest, we'll hear them perform the music of Bach, the Beatles, Duruflé, and Sousa. Also on the program, a teenage cellist performs Fauré's "Elegie", and we'll meet a brilliant young violinist who has won three major American music competitions this past year.

 

Show 273 | El Paso, TX

Monday, August 04 2014 09:39 PM

From El Paso Texas this week's From the Top features an extremely expressive 13-year-old clarinetist from California, performing the music of Weber, a hugely confident teen violinist from El Paso performing Wieniawski's Polonaise Brilliante … and a young organist who wins From the Top's Stereotype Smasher of the Year award.

 

Show 283 | Boston, MA

Monday, July 28 2014 09:43 PM

From Jordan Hall in Boston, Massachusetts, this week's From the Top 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 teenager from the Boston area … and a teenage string quartet shares moving stories about the healing power of music in their own lives.

 

Show 293|Purchase, NY

Monday, July 21 2014 10:13 PM

 

This week From the Top presents Carnegie Hall's National Youth Orchestra of the Unites States.  Featuring phenomenal young musicians from nearly every state in the union, this massive ensemble of over 100 performers delivers heart-stopping performances of the music of Bernstein, Gershwin, and a world premier of a work by American composer, Samuel Adams. We'll also hear some of the orchestra’s strongest performers play chamber music with host Christopher O'Riley.

 

Show 282 | Chattanooga TN

Monday, July 14 2014 09:19 PM

From Chattanooga, Tennessee, this week's From the Top features an uproarious performance of the music of Japanese composer/pianist Hiromi Uehara, performed by a 14-year-old girl from nearby Maryville, Tennessee … We'll also hear from a young singer who has raised over $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.

 

Show 279|Stanford CA

Monday, July 07 2014 09:53 PM

From Stanford University, this week's From the Top features an all-California crew of performers including an extraordinary 12-year-old guitarist from the Bay Area performing the music of Villa-Lobos; the San Francisco Girls Chorus singing a beautiful arrangement of a song from Joni Mitchell's first album; and a funny story about a young pianist who found himself destroying his own piano by practicing too much.

 

Show 281 | Costa Mesa CA

Monday, June 30 2014 10:03 PM

From Costa Mesa in Orange County, California, this week's show features the winning chorus of the L.A. area's "Local Vocal High School Choir Sing-Off"a wonderful expressive group from a small California town. Also, the Principal Flutist of the Pacific Symphony, (a From the Top alumnus) performs a lively flute duet with a local teenage flutist, and a 16-year-old cellist performs the Andante from Rachmaninoff's sublime Sonata in G minor.

 

Show 289 | Seattle WA

Monday, June 16 2014 09:23 PM

From Seattle, Washington, this week's program features a teenage violinist local to the "Emerald City" delivering an emotional performance of the music of Ernest Bloch … teenagers from Chicago perform a thrilling wild and fun work for sax quartet … and we'll enjoy the broadcast premiere of a new composition written by an 18-year-old from New York City—an intriguing and ethereal piece titled “Tropholingua,” which means “language of plants.”

 

Show 280 | Wingate, NC

Monday, June 09 2014 09:23 PM

From North Carolina, this week's show features the return appearance of a From the Top alumnus who went on to win a top prize at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition this year. He's the first American to become a medalist in over sixteen years. We'll also meet a teenage bassoonist with a beautifully poetic story about the wilderness of New England and how it has moved his heart and shaped his music.

 

Show 288|Tacoma WA

Monday, June 02 2014 09:23 PM

From Tacoma, Washington, this episode features Prokofiev’s Toccata performed with a level of energy that can only be described as diabolically teenage (the performer is a totally brilliant, risk-taking 15-year-old), we’ll hear a young violinist perform a lush and lyrical piece written for her by her father, and we’ll enjoy music from a film by the great Japanese animator Hiyao Miyazaki sumptuously arranged for four cellos by one of the young performers on the program.

 

Show 287 | Miami FL

Monday, May 26 2014 09:23 PM

 

From Miami Beach, Florida, this week’s From the Top features an expressive 13-year-old violinist performing one of Pablo de Sarasate’s Spanish Dances, a From the Top alumnus who has gone on to become Principal Flute for Miami Beach’s New World Symphony, and a brilliant teenage soprano from Florida who is carrying on the tradition of opera for her family—her mother had a fantastic career performing at New York’s Metropolitan Opera and beyond.

 

Show 278 | Boston MA

Saturday, May 24 2014 12:33 AM

From our broadcast home, Boston, Massachusetts, this week's From the Top features a pianist who, at the age of nine, was the youngest performer ever to sign with the recording label, EMI … also a phenomenal 16-year-old violinist tackles one of the most difficult and dazzling pieces for unaccompanied violin … and we'll meet a 17-year-old who, having grown up in one of the toughest neighborhoods in San Francisco, has emerged to become a formidable young mezzo-soprano.

 

Show 277 | Bowling Green OH

Monday, May 12 2014 09:13 PM

From Bowling Green, Ohio, this week's show features one of the country's strongest teenage string quartets performing the music of Edvard Grieg … a young composer who's written an adventuresome piece with four movements inspired by the four ancient elements: earth, water, air and fire … and a 15-year-old pianist who, in his spare time, invented a new chemical solution for protecting the public monuments of his home city, Houston, Texas.

 

SHOW 286 | CINCINATTI OHIO

Monday, May 05 2014 09:13 PM

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. Host Christopher O'Riley joins Starling’s flagship orchestra to play Mozart; we'll hear a 12-year-old violinist and one of the program's most talented young soloists perform the music of Edward Elgar; and three From the Top alumni return to share their stories of mega success on YouTube and to perform a wonderfully schmaltzy comedic violin trio.

 

Show 276 | Vermillion, SD

Monday, April 28 2014 09:43 PM

This week's From the Top comes from Vermillion, South Dakota, which happens to be the home of one of the greatest collections of musical instruments in the world. The National Music Museum is in Vermillion and so, in addition to the performances of some incredible young musicians, this episode features the sounds of some of the museum's rare treasures.

 

Show 285 | Boston MA

Tuesday, April 22 2014 09:03 PM

From Calderwood Hall at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Massachusetts, this week's From the Top celebrates grassroots community music schools — these are the kinds of programs that reach out to kids who otherwise might not have any access to musical training. We'll hear an expressive 17-year-old cellist from the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts perform the music of Shostakovich. And we'll meet a phenomenal teenage trombone quartet from one of the greatest urban community music schools in the country - the Merit School of Music in Chicago.

Show 275 | Aspen, CO

Tuesday, April 15 2014 03:23 PM

From the Top travels to the Aspen Music Festival and School this week to meet the amazing young musicians who’ve gathered there to study. We’ll hear one of Tchaikovsky’s most playful pieces performed by a talented 16-year-old violinist … we'll hear a wonderfully passionate young pianist perform Preludes by Debussy … and we'll learn how that pianist defied the odds and managed to find his way to America from a very small, rural village in southern China.

Show 284 | Rochester, NY

Tuesday, April 01 2014 04:03 PM

From the famous Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York this week's show features the great flute virtuoso, Sir James Galway as our special guest. In addition to a line up of wonderful young soloists, Sir James will perform Gounod's Petite Symphonie with an ensemble of talented kids and talk about how he's training the next generation of superb flutists.

 

Show 253 | Portland, OR

Tuesday, March 25 2014 04:03 PM

This week From the Top is the special guest of Portland Piano International, the celebrated piano festival in Portland, Oregon. As such, the show is a bit more piano centric than usual with a 16-year-old pianist from the Portland area performing the music of Chopin, and we'll talk about the challenges a young pianist faces when trying to collaborate with French horn and violin.

Show 258 | Beijing I

Monday, March 17 2014 09:33 PM

This program is the first of two special From the Top episodes recorded with the Great Wall International Music Academy in Beijing, China. You'll hear the brilliant 17-year-old Chinese violinist Mei Di Yang perform the music of Brahms, a chamber orchestra made up of students from around the globe perform beautiful traditional Chinese music, and more.

Show 283 | Boston, MA

Monday, March 10 2014 09:33 PM

From Jordan Hall in Boston, Massachusetts, this week's From the Top 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 teenager from the Boston area, and a teenage string quartet shares moving stories about the healing power of music in their own lives.

 

Show 263 | Davis, CA

Tuesday, March 04 2014 10:53 PM

From Davis, California, this week's From the Top features young performers who are all major competition winners. We enjoy their superb performances including a fearless 11-year-old violinist performing the music of Sarasate, a teenage classical guitarist from Tennessee performing a transcription of the music of Chopin, and a wonderful young flutist who won a competition by beatboxing on the instrument. There's also a playful music trivia quiz customized for these high achievers. A competition about … competitions.

 

Show 274 | San Marcos, TX

Monday, February 17 2014 10:23 PM

This week's From the Top comes to you from the Texas State International Piano Festival in San Marcos, Texas. Appropriately, all the performances on the program include the piano. We'll enjoy one of Maurice Ravel's best-loved pieces for solo piano performed by an expressive 16-year-old from New Jersey and we'll hear a new piece for piano and voice written by a composer who's just 13-years-old.

Show 281 | Costa Mesa, CA

Monday, February 03 2014 09:33 PM

From Costa Mesa in Orange County, California, this week's show features the winning chorus of the L.A. Area's "Local Vocal High School Choir Sing-Off" — a wonderful expressive group from a small California town. Also the Principal Flutist of Pacific Symphony (a From the Top alumnus) performs a lively flute duet with a local teenage flutist and a 16-year-old cellist performs the Andante from Rachmaninoff's sublime Sonata in G minor.

Show 262 | Greensburg, PA

Monday, January 27 2014 10:23 PM

From Greensburg, Pennsylvania this week's From the Top features one of the strongest teenage string quartets in America performing the beautiful music of Leos Janacek, a local 12-year-old pianist plays one of Aaron Copland’s most playful pieces, and we'll meet a tenacious 16-year-old who was invited to the prestigious Menuhin International Violin Competition and though she received no honor there, found that the experience really sealed her future as a violinist.

Show 261 | Boston, MA

Monday, January 20 2014 10:53 PM

This week From the Top returns to its home, Jordan Hall, in Boston with a line up of superb young musicians including a teenager who, having stuck with the recorder since the 4th grade, has become a young virtuoso on the instrument ... a 13-year-old cellist who performs the music of Tchaikovsky and then shares with us his unusually in-depth knowledge about mushroom harvesting ... and a jaw-droppingly good 9-year-old violinist who's read pretty much every Nancy Drew book written.

Show 208 | Boston, MA

Monday, January 13 2014 11:03 PM

From the Top is teaming up with the Boston Children’s Chorus to present a special celebration on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Join host Christopher O’Riley, young musicians from around the country and the Boston Children’s Chorus for an hour of music and personal stories that would make Dr. King smile with pride.

Highlight Show 17 | Alumni Musical Mavericks Show

Monday, December 30 2013 10:15 PM

This show features the amazing music and stories our alumni musicians have made since appearing on our From the Top. You’ll hear from a cellist, violist, pianist, and two composers, who are negotiating life as 20-somethings and who are all involved in cutting edge musical activities.

Show 280 | Wingate, NC

Monday, December 16 2013 10:08 PM

From North Carolina, this week's show features the return appearance of a From the Top alumnus who went on to win a top prize at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition this year. He's the first American to become a medalist in over sixteen years. We'll also meet a teenage bassoonist with a beautifully poetic story about the wilderness of New England and how it has moved his heart and shaped his music.

Show 273 | El Paso, TX

Monday, December 09 2013 10:19 PM

From El Paso, Texas, this week's From the Top features an extremely expressive 13-year-old clarinetist from California performing the music of Weber, a hugely confident teen violinist from El Paso performing Wieniawski's Polonaise Brilliante, and a young organist who wins From the Top's Stereotype Smasher of the Year award.

Show 279 | Stanford, CA

Monday, December 02 2013 11:34 PM

From Stanford University, this week's From the Top features an all-California crew of performers including an extraordinary 12-year-old guitarist from the Bay Area performing the music of Villa-Lobos; the San Francisco Girls Chorus singing a beautiful arrangement of a song from Joni Mitchell's first album; and a funny story about a young pianist who found himself destroying his own piano by practicing too much.

Show 278 | Boston, MA

Monday, November 18 2013 10:43 PM

From our broadcast home, Boston, Massachusetts, this week's From the Top features a pianist who, at the age of nine, was the youngest performer ever to sign with the recoding label, EMI. A phenomenal 16-year-old violinist tackles one of the most difficult and dazzling pieces for unaccompanied violin, and we'll meet a 17-year-old who, having grown up in one of the toughest neighborhoods in San Francisco, has emerged to become a formidable young mezzo-soprano.

Show 277 | Bowling Green, OH

Monday, November 04 2013 10:23 PM

From Bowling Green, Ohio, this week's show features one of the country's strongest teenage string quartets performing the music of Edvard Grieg, a young composer who's written an adventuresome piece with four movements inspired by the four ancient elements: earth, water, air and fire, and a 15-year-old pianist who, in his spare time, invented a new chemical solution for protecting the public monuments of his home city, Houston, Texas.

Show 276 | Vermillion, SD

Monday, October 21 2013 09:23 PM

This week's From the Top comes from Vermillion, South Dakota, which happens to be the home of one of the greatest collections of musical instruments in the world. The National Music Museum is in Vermillion and so, in addition to the performances of some incredible young musicians, this episode features the sounds of some of the museum's rare treasures.

Show 270 | Athens, GA

Monday, September 30 2013 09:48 PM

From Athens, Georgia, this week's From the Top features an unusually expressive teenage cellist performing Ravel's sacred masterpiece, "Kadish." We also meet a 17-year-old pianist, who has a strong case of synesthesia — so strong, she can occasionally taste the music.

Show 269 | Mesa, AZ

Monday, September 23 2013 09:20 PM

This week from Mesa, Arizona we’ll hear one of the most thrilling works written for unaccompanied cello composed by Kodaly and performed by a talented 17-year-old from Gilbert, Arizona ... a young violinist tells the tale of her harrowing, but triumphant debut with the Cleveland Orchestra ... and the Phoenix Children’s Chorus takes on a haunting composition written by teenage composer from Denver and set to the poetry of Walt Whitman.

Show 275 | Aspen, CO

Monday, September 16 2013 04:15 PM

From the Top travels to the Aspen Music Festival and School this week to meet the amazing young musicians who’ve gathered there to study. We’ll hear one of Tchaikovsky’s most playful pieces performed by a talented 16-year-old violinist … we'll hear a wonderfully passionate young pianist perform Preludes by Debussy … and we'll learn how that pianist defied the odds and managed to find his way to America from a very small, rural village in southern China.

Show 268 | Tucson, AZ

Monday, September 09 2013 04:33 PM

From Tucson Arizona, From the Top this week features an unusually expressive 11-year-old violinist performing the last composition Debussy ever wrote ... we'll hear one of the best teenage trumpet players in the country perform an exhilarating arrangement of Rhapsody in Blue by Gershwin ... and we'll meet a talented young classical guitarist from Tucson who is a budding naturalist with a rather eccentric job at a university research lab studying ants.

Show 274 | San Marcos, TX

Tuesday, September 03 2013 09:54 PM

This week's From the Top comes to you from the Texas State International Piano Festival in San Marcos, Texas. Appropriately, all the performances on the program include the piano. We'll enjoy one of Maurice Ravel's best loved pieces for solo piano performed by an expressive 16-year-old from New Jersey and we'll hear a new piece for piano and voice written by a composer who's just 13-years-old.

Show 266 | Denver, CO

Monday, August 19 2013 09:14 PM

The Colorado Symphony welcomes From the Top to Denver this week for a show that combines amazing teenage musicians with the Symphony's superb sound. A brilliant young violinist from Denver performs the music of Sarasate with the orchestra ... and discusses what it's like to grow up as an "orchestra brat" — both her parents are members of the Symphony. We'll also hear the symphony accompany the superb Colorado Children's Chorale in a performance of the music of Randall Thompson.

Show 265 | Dallas, TX

Monday, August 12 2013 09:27 PM

From the Top collaborates with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra this week to bring you a big, Texas From the Top.  We’ll hear a teenage cellist perform the stirring music of Ernest Bloch with the orchestra, we'll meet a young violinist who is perhaps the Dallas Symphony's biggest fan (playing with them is a dream come true for the boy) and a teenage piano trio performs the music of a young Texan composer  -- a piece imaginatively inspired by the Greek Gods.

Show 264 | Sarasota, FL

Monday, August 05 2013 09:33 PM

From Sarasota, Florida this week's From the Top features an outstandingly expressive and precise 14-year-old guitarist performing the music of Augustin Barrios  … a teenage horn player whose practice regimen has inspired the invention of a new word … and a teenage pianist whose family is part Lebanese, part Guatemalan, part Japanese and part Floridian.

Show 263 | Davis, CA

Monday, July 29 2013 09:59 PM

From Davis, California, this week's From the Top features young performers who are all major competition winners. We enjoy their superb performances including a fearless 11-year-old violinist performing the music of Sarasate, a teenager classical guitarist from Tennessee performing a transcription of the music of Chopin and a wonderful young flutist who won a competition by beatboxing on the instrument. There's also a playful music trivia quiz customized for these high achievers. A competition about ... competitions.

Show 262 | Greensburg, PA

Monday, July 22 2013 09:03 PM

From Greensburg, Pennsylvania this week's From the Top features one of the strongest teenage string quartets in America performing the beautiful music of Leos Janacek, a local 12-year-old pianist plays one of Aaron Copland’s most playful pieces, and we'll meet a tenacious 16-year-old who was invited to the prestigious Menuhin International Violin Competition and though she received no honor there, found that the experience really sealed her future as a violinist.

Show 261 | Boston, MA

Monday, July 15 2013 09:13 PM

This week From the Top returns to its home, Jordan Hall, in Boston with a line up of superb young musicians including a teenager who, having stuck with the recorder since the 4th grade, has become a young virtuoso on the instrument ... a 13-year-old cellist who performs the music of Tchaikovsky and then shares with us his unusually in-depth knowledge about mushroom harvesting ... and a jaw-droppingly good 9-year-old violinist who's read pretty much every Nancy Drew book written.

Show 260 | Troy, NY

Monday, July 08 2013 09:13 PM

From Troy, New York, this week's From the Top features master cellist, Matt Haimovitz as our special guest artist. Maestro Haimovitz performs one of the most gorgeous pieces of chamber music written for the cello--David Popper's Requiem--with two wonderful teenage cellists and host Christopher O'Riley. We test his wits against some of the young performers on the show in a humorous cello trivia competition, and the program culminates with some of the genre bending Maestro Haimovitz has become famous for-—a rousing finale arranged for 5 cellos.

Show 259 | Beijing II

Monday, July 01 2013 09:23 PM

This program is the second of two special From the Top episodes recorded with the Great Wall International Music Academy in Beijing, China. One of the strongest violinists from the Shanghai Conservatory's middle school performs the music of Mozart, an 11-year-old from the Philippines performs Haydn, and we'll hear the plaintive sound of the traditional Chinese string instrument, the erhu, performed 13-year-old girl destined to be one of the greatest erhu players of her generation.

Show 258 | Beijing I

Monday, June 24 2013 09:33 PM

This program is the first of two special From the Top episodes recorded with the Great Wall International Music Academy in Beijing, China. You'll hear the brilliant 17-year-old Chinese violinist Mei Di Yang perform the music of Brahms, a chamber orchestra made up of students from around the globe perform beautiful traditional Chinese music, and more.

Show 273 | El Paso, TX

Tuesday, June 18 2013 10:31 PM

From El Paso Texas this week's From the Top features an extremely expressive 13-year-old clarinetist from California performing the music of Weber, a hugely confident teen violinist from El Paso performing Wieniawski's Polonaise Brilliante, and a young organist who wins From the Top's Stereotype Smasher of the Year award.

Show 247 | Brunswick, ME

Monday, June 10 2013 09:22 PM

From Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, this program includes a 16-year-old violinist who shares with us the sounds of her island home in a beautiful audio postcard, a young piano-harp duo whose members have been using their music to raise money for pediatric cancer research, and we’ll revisit with a From the Top alumnus who performs the tour de force finale of Mussorgsky’s Pictures At An Exhibition.

Show 272 | Princeton, NJ

Monday, June 03 2013 09:08 PM

From Princeton, New Jersey From the Top celebrates the 75th anniversary of the world renowned American Boychoir. As our special featured guest, we'll hear them perform the music of Bach, the Beatles, Duruflé, and Sousa. Also on the program, a teenage cellist performs Fauré's "Elegie" and we'll meet a brilliant young violinist who has won three major American music competitions this past year.