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 304 | Wellesley MA

From Wellesley, Massachusetts, this week's From the Top pays tribute to Jewish composers and Jewish music. A precocious 12-year-old violinist performs the music of George Gershwin; a young tenor performs his own composition inspired by the great twentieth century Jewish poet, Hannah Senesh; and the show's finale features the great sound of Klezmer music.

Listen1:02:57

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Show 292 | Salem MA

This week's program was recorded at The Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, and given the show's art museum venue, each young performer discusses a connection between the music they're performing and a work of visual art in the museum's collection. We hear an award-winning string quartet from Chicago perform the music of Bartok, and a teenager from Maryland performs an epic piece on the traditional Chinese instrument, the guzheng.

Listen1:04:17

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Show 279 | Stanford CA

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.

Listen1:02:13

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Show 301 | San Francisco CA

The world-renowned cellist Matt Haimovitz returns to From the Top as the special guest artist of this week's program from the San Francisco Conservatory. With the young performers on the program, Maestro Haimovitz performs a very unusual piece—a children's musical storybook called "Angel Heart"—featuring the internationally best-selling children's author Cornelia Funke as its narrator. And there's still the regular lineup of outstanding young musicians, including a 14-year-old violinist performing one of Sarasate's most spirited show pieces.

Listen1:07:23

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Show 291 | Sidney ME

From the Snow Pond Center for the Arts in Sidney, Maine, this week's From the Top features one of the strongest teenage oboists From the Top has encountered in the past few years performing a gorgeous Élégie by Francis Poulenc; a 14-year-old violinist performs Vieuxtemp's virtuosic showpiece, the Yankee Doodle Variations; and we meet a harpist who shares some wonderful stories about growing up studying music on rugged and rural Mount Desert Island, Maine.

Listen1:04:26

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Show 280 | Wingate NC

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. 

Listen1:04:30

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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 etudes.

Listen1:03:56

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Show 282 | Chattanooga TN

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. 

Listen1:03:22

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Show 283 | Boston MA

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. 

Listen1:01:39

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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. 

Listen1:04:38

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