From the Top

From the Top

From NPR

From the Top, hosted by acclaimed concert pianist Christopher O'Riley, showcases the music, stories, and unique humor of America's best young classical musicians.More from From the Top »

Most Recent Episodes

Show 299 | Montclair NJ

From Montclair, New Jersey, this week's From the Top features the world-renowned Shanghai String Quartet making a special guest appearance. Two lucky teenage performers get the privilege of joining the quartet in a thrilling performance of the music of Johannes Brahms. We'll also listen to the music a young cellist has chosen to populate his playlists on Spotify—playlists cleverly designed to persuade his high school friends to become fans of classical music.

Show 299 | Montclair NJ

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Show 300 | Boston MA

From our home in Boston, Massachusetts, this week's episode features an 11-year-old who is not only a precocious violinist, but who also happens to be a budding meteorologist—his long-term forecasts on YouTube are impressively accurate. A young cellist performs the gorgeous Andante movement from Rachmaninoff's Sonata in G minor, and we'll meet a pianist who, at the age of 14, has recorded all of the Opus 25 Chopin piano études.

Show 300 | Boston MA

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Show 305 | Coral Gables FL

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, a young soprano from New Orleans performing a musical setting of one of Emily Dickinson's poems, and an oboist who, in addition to possessing an enormous library of classical music, is a wonderful teenage spokesperson for the genre.

Show 305 | Coral Gables FL

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Show 302 | Denver CO

From Denver, Colorado, this week's episode features a special guest appearance by one of America's finest living film composers, Danny Elfman. Our young musicians perform arrangements of his music from the soundtracks of "Milk" and "The Nightmare Before Christmas." Mr. Elfman also shares stories from his own colorful teenage years, and a phenomenal 17-year-old from New York performs the music of Lowell Liebermann.

Show 302 | Denver CO

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Show 303 | Interlochen MI

This week's From the Top features students studying at one of America's most famous training programs for young musicians—the Interlochen Arts Academy—in rural Michigan. We meet the winners of the Academy's concerto competition, and the mighty Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra performs a world premiere inspired by the story of The Three Musketeers.

Show 303 | Interlochen MI

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Show 317 | Louisville KY

From Louisville, Kentucky, this week's From the Top features a superb 17-year-old pianist from Brooklyn who wants to devote himself to the work of racially diversifying the world of classical music. We'll also hear an entrancing performance of "Over the Rainbow" performed on marimba by the local teen percussionist, and the Louisville Youth Orchestra perform a brand new piece by American composer Christopher Theofanidis.

Show 317 | Louisville KY

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Show 316 | Rochester NY

This week From the Top celebrates its young musicians with the superb Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and their conductor, Ward Stare. The orchestra performs concerti with three young soloists including a 14-year-old pianist tackling the music of Grieg and a 17-year-old clarinetist playing Mozart. The orchestra also performs the broadcast premiere of a new work by a 16-year-old composer, and we'll learn about that young composer's extraordinary side career as a boy soprano.

Show 316 | Rochester NY

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Show 315 | Naples FL

From Naples Florida, this week's program features a highly emotional performance of Rachmaninoff's Piano Trio No. 1 in G minor by three teenagers from the Chicago area; a young oboist shares a funny story about how sibling rivalry has fueled his drive for excellence; and the local 14-year-old pianist describes how he raised over twenty-thousand dollars for a nearby children's hospital.

Show 315 | Naples FL

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Show HL-24 |

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. One alumni guest has just scored the position of Principal Bassoonist for the Chicago Symphony. Another is a lyric soprano working in the opera houses of Germany. One's a touring piano soloist. Each featured alum shares with us a recent musical performance.

Show HL-24 |

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Show 325 | El Paso TX

From El Paso, Texas, this week's program opens with a powerhouse performance of the music of Johannes Brahms performed by a 15-year-old violinist from Texas. We'll also hear a lyrical new work by a talented teenage composer featuring the under appreciated brass instrument, the euphonium, and each young musician on the program shares a clip of music that first inspired them to dedicate themselves to musical study.

Show 325 | El Paso TX

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