From the Top

By From the Top

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NPR's From the Top showcases the music, stories, and unique humor of America's best young classical musicians.

Episode Date
Pianist George Li performs "Carmen."
279
Alumni pianist, George Li performs Variations on a Theme from Bizet's Opera "Carmen" by Vladimir Horowitz.
Jul 15, 2019
"Loopy" – by violinist and guest host, Charles Yang
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Charles Yang along with pianist Peter Dugan and 16-year-old guitarist Gwenyth Aggeler perform "Loopy" by Charles Yang.
Jul 01, 2019
Show 371 | LaJolla CA
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From La Jolla, California, this week's From the Top features renowned violinist and social justice advocate VijayGupta as guest host. Along with co-host Michelle Cann, they'll introduce us to the incredible San Diego Youth Symphony Chamber Orchestra, a young cellist who shares how studying the cello has helped him stand up for what he believes in, and a pianist who was a prize winner in Russia's famous Tchaikovsky Competition.
Jun 17, 2019
Show 370 from Atlanta Feat. Lara Downes
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From The Breman Museum in Atlanta, this week's From the Top is a special program celebrating Jewish contributions to classical music featuring concert pianist Lara Downes as our guest host. We'll hear a 14-year-old share what it's like to grow up in a Korean and Jewish household, a new piece by a Jewish-American teenage composer gets its broadcast debut, and a spectacular 18-year-old clarinetist performs a movement from Leonard Bernstein's Sonata for Clarinet and Piano.
Jun 03, 2019
Violinist Leila Josefowicz performs Valse Triste
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Guest host Leila Josefowicz introduces and performs "Valse Triste" by Jean Sibelius, her break piece recorded during "From the Top Episode 369 with pianist Michelle Cann.
May 27, 2019
Show 369: Feat. Guest Host & Violinist Leila Josefowicz
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From the famed Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, this episode of From the Top is guest hosted by renowned violinist Leila Josefowicz with co-host Michelle Cann. We meet a teenage violinist who talks about the struggle of coping with very high expectations, a 14-year-old pianist flies over the keys while performing Chopin, and for the first time, both hosts of the program perform together with two young musicians for Messiaen's "Quartet for the End of Time."
May 20, 2019
Co-Host and Pianist Michelle Cann peforms the music of Florence Price
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From our program recorded March 19th 2019, Interlochen Michigan, co-host and pianist Michelle Cann introduces and performs her break piece on the program, the Sonata in E Minor for Piano by Florence Price.
May 15, 2019
Show 368 Feat. Actor Damon Gupton from Interlochen, MI
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From the Corson Auditorium at Interlochen Center for the Arts, this week's From the Top features a cast made up entirely by students of the renowned high school. Film and television actor Damon Gupton is our guest host and sets the stage for a young tubist who performs a virtuosic concerto backed by the full orchestra, a group of seven percussionists perform the aptly titled work "Shared Space", and a 17-year-old cellist passionately performs a beautiful work by Tchaikovsky.
May 06, 2019
Guest Host Peter Dugan Plays Bach
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Pianist Peter Dugan performs the Sarabande from the French Suite no. 5 in G major J.S. Bach
Apr 29, 2019
Show 367 | Los Angeles CA
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Recorded in the Hollywood Scoring Studio in Los Angeles, we meet a fantastic 15-year-old pianist who loves Disney so much she can name every ride just by listening to their soundtrack! We also meet a prize-winning string quartet who performs Mendelssohn's second string quartet and a teenage saxophone player from Texas plays a virtuosic work by a 20th-century composer.
Apr 22, 2019
EDM Producer Alex Seaver works with FTT kids
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Member of the Electronic Dance Music group, MAKO, Alex Seaver speaks with guest host Peter Dugan and French Horn player, Zach Potts.
Apr 15, 2019
Show 366: Feat. Pianist Peter Dugan from L.A.
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This episode of From the Top was recorded in the famed Hollywood Scoring Studio in Los Angeles. We meet a brilliant young pianist who grew up in Hollywood enjoying film music so much that she founded her own multi-disciplinary arts collaborative at her high school. Also on the program is a heroic performance of a piece by Planel for horn and a teenage violinist rocks Ravel's virtuosic "Tzigane" with guest host Peter Dugan.
Apr 08, 2019
Show 365: Feat. Actor & Musician Lawrence Gilliard Jr.
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This week's From the Top celebrates the 125th Anniversary of one of the great teaching grounds for classical musicians, the Walnut Hill School for the Arts! You might recognize this episode's guest host from his roles on The Wire and HBO's The Deuce, but you may not know Lawrence Gilliard Jr. is also a fantastic clarinetist. Listen as he introduces to us current students and a few illustrious alumni of Walnut Hall. || Learn more at http://bit.ly/FTT365
Mar 11, 2019
Show 364: Feat. Virtuoso Violinist Charles Yang and Pianist Peter Dugan
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From the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek, Colorado, this week's From the Top features the ground-breaking violinist Charles Yang as the guest host. He'll share the stage with a joyful teenager whose winning personality propelled her to take home the gold medal at the prestigious 2018 Stulberg International String Competition. We'll also meet a young erhu player, an instrument known to some as the "Chinese violin", who plays "Taichi Warrior of Erhu" by Chen Jun.
Feb 18, 2019
Show 363: Feat. Food Network Star Molly Yeh and Pianist Peter Dugan
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This week's guest host is Molly Yeh a young chef with her own show on the Food Channel called "Girl Meets Farm." But before she developed an interest in food, she was an extraordinary classical percussionist who appeared on From the Top over a decade ago when she was just 15-years-old. This week, she returns to introduce us to an impressive lineup of young musicians including a talented teenage bassoonist from rural Oklahoma and a 17-year-old pianist who delivers a fiery performance of Stravinsky's Firebird Suite.
Jan 28, 2019
Show 362: Feat. Food Network Star Molly Yeh as Guest Host
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Guest Host Molly Yeh is a young chef with her own show on the Food Channel called "Girl Meets Farm," but before she developed an interest in food, she was an extraordinary classical percussionist who appeared on From the Top over a decade ago when she was just 15-years-old. This week, she returns to introduce us to an impressive lineup of young musicians including a flutist who performs music inspired by the great Maya Angelou and a 14-year-old cellist who gives a dazzling performance of the music Tchaikovsky.
Dec 31, 2018
Pianist Orli Shaham performs Mozart_s C Major Piano Sonata K330, Mvt. 1
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Guest host Orli Shaham's complete break piece recorded during From the Top Episode 361, Brunswick, ME.
Dec 24, 2018
Show 361: Feat Concert Pianist Orli Shaham as Guest Host
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Concert pianist Orli Shaham guest hosts this week's From the Top from Brunswick, Maine! We'll hear her talk shop with a superb teenage pianist who performs the music of Brahms, meet a violinist from Maine who happens to do serious biomedical research when he's not in the practice room, and a very young, very fun brother-sister guitar duo plays contemporary music from Brazil. *PERFORMERS* 16-year-old cellist Jiaxun "Caroline" Yao from Flushing, NY performing: I. Prologue: Lent, sostenuto e molto risoluto from the Sonata for Cello and Piano by Claude Debussy with Orli Shaham, piano || Davisson Guitar Duo: Elle Davisson, 10, and Jack Davisson,13, from Palo Alto, CA performing: "Jongo" by Paulo Bellinati || 17-year-old bassoonist Aaron Brown from Shapleigh, ME performing: I. Vivace from the Sonata for Bassoon and Piano by William Hurlstone, with Orli Shaham, piano. || 17-year-old pianist Avery Gagliano from Philadelphia, PA performing: I. Intermezzo in A minor and III. Ballade in G minor from 6 Klavierstücke, Op.118 by Johannes Brahms || 17-year-old violinist Brandon Aponte from Blue Hill, ME performing: "Méditation" from Thaïs by Jules Massenet, with Orli Shaham, piano || Finale: All performers with Orli Shaham perform VI. Le Pas Espagnol from Dolly Suite, Op.56 by Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924), arr. by Simon Frisch
Dec 17, 2018
From Mao's China to New York City
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Pulitzer Prize winning composer, Zhou Long is interviewed by host Christopher O'Riley
Dec 10, 2018
Show 344 | East Stroudsburg PA
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From East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, this week's From the Top features more than 100 young musicians from across Mainland China in their first ever public performance as the National Youth Orchestra of China under the direction of Maestro Ludovic Morlot. We hear the full ensemble perform "Rhyme of Taigu" by Pulitzer-Prize-winning composer Zhou Long, a young clarinetist shares how he fell in love with the clarinet's sound at his first concert, and five members of the ensemble perform the energetic first movement of Francis Poulenc's Sextet for Piano and Wind Quintet with Christopher O'Riley.
Dec 10, 2018
Married alums Peter Dugan and Kara Sainz sing Gershwin
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Married alums Peter Dugan and Kara Sainz sing Gershwin
Dec 03, 2018
Show HL-27
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Featuring music and interviews with From the Top alumni who are now professional musicians, this Where are They Now episode brings a delightful mix of performances of Ravel, Gershwin, Schumann, and an original work from one of From the Top's up-and-coming composer alumni.
Dec 03, 2018
Show 360: Feat Jazz Pianist Fred Hersch and Guest Host Yuga Cohler
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This week on From the Top, legendary jazz pianist Fred Hersch collaborates with young performers with guest host Yuga Cohler. We hear a teenage pianist join Hersch in a piano duo performance of Samuel Barber, an award-winning string quartet wows the audience with Mendelssohn, and a young cellist performs one of Hersch's original compositions, "Bittersweet Tango". PERFORMERS: 14-year-old violinist Hina Khuong-Huu, 17-year-old pianist Avik Sarkar, The Kairos String Quartet, 19-year-old cellist Lydia Rhea.
Nov 26, 2018
10 Questions for the Great Conductor, Marin Alsop
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Host Christopher O'Riley interviews conductor, Marin Alsop.
Nov 19, 2018
Show 343 | Purchase, New York
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From Purchase, New York, this week's From the Top highlights the 115 incredible young musicians that make up Carnegie Hall's National Youth Orchestra of the USA. Featured on the program are four performances by the full ensemble under renowned conductor Marin Alsop including an adrenaline-inducing performance of John Adams' "Short Ride in a Fast Machine" and a newly-commissioned work by composer Gabriela Lena Frank.
Nov 19, 2018
What a classical violinist can learn from Gypsy Jazz
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Christopher O'RIley and teenage violinist, John Fawcett talk about nuanced bowing technique.
Nov 12, 2018
Show 352 | Berkeley CA
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From the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, this week's From the Top features the winning ensemble of KDFC's Local Vocals High School Choir Sing-Off and, at 120 singers, it's the largest choir ever featured on the program. We meet a 17-year-old pianist with a moving story to tell about losing access to her beloved piano for financial reasons and how she overcame that situation ... and a young string quartet performs the rhapsodic first movement of Debussy's string quartet in G major, Op. 10.
Nov 12, 2018
Peter Dugan's Tribute to Aretha Franklin & Philly
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Guest Host Peter Dugan created a special arrangement in honor of the late Aretha Franklin and his hometown of Philadelphia and performed it during the live recording of NPR's From the Top Show 359.
Nov 05, 2018
Show 359: Feat. Guest Host Peter Dugan, a violin/guitar duo, a 15-year-old pianist and more!
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From picturesque Longwood Gardens outside Philadelphia, From the Top, with this week's Guest Host Peter Dugan, features an exciting array of young talent – including a young violinist who got her start in the El Sistema-inspired music program, Play-On Philly, a violin and guitar duo performs a dramatic tango, and a young cellist who once performed at a Chicago Bulls game. Performers and repertoire 17-year-old cellist Jack Boettcher from Naperville, Illinois performs Pampeana No. 2, Op. 21 for Cello and Piano by Alberto Ginastera (1916-1983), with Peter Dugan, piano 15-year-old pianist Angeline Ma from Berwyn, Pennsylvania performs Waltz in F major, Op. 34 no. 3 and Waltz in A flat major, Op. 42 by Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) Duo FaRi – 17-year-old violinist Faustina Housner from Cherry Hill, New Jersey and 18-year-old guitarist Ria Modak from New York, New York performs Histoire du Tango: Cafe 1930 by Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992) 18-year-old violinist Akili Farrow from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania performs: Sonatensatz in C Minor by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897), with Peter Dugan, piano 17-year-old clarinetist Andrew Chang from Rowland Heights, California performs: IV. Andante molto - allegro energico from "Time Pieces" for Clarinet and Piano, Op. 43 by Robert Muczynski (1929-2010), with Peter Dugan, piano 15-year-old pianist Angeline Ma from Berwyn, Pennsylvania performs I. Prelude from Eight Concert Études, Op 40 by Nikolai Kapustin (b.1937)
Nov 05, 2018
A new work by From the Top Alum, Conrad Tao
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Christopher O'Riley and Conrad talk about Conrad's vibrant career as a composer and pianist and we hear his new piece, "Asymptotes."
Oct 29, 2018
Show 342 | Santa Barbara CA
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From Santa Barbara, California, this week's From the Top features fantastic musicians who are studying at the prestigious Music Academy of the West, which celebrates its 70th Anniversary this year. We'll hear a young pianist perform one of Rachmaninoff's most complex pieces for the piano, a teenage violinist recounts a life-changing realization, and we feature a world-premiere of "Asymptotes", a newly commissioned work for clarinet, viola, and piano from composer and From the Top alum, Conrad Tao.
Oct 29, 2018
Show 358 | Roxbury Crossing MA
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From the Media Arts Center at Roxbury Community College, this episode of From the Top brings together a cast of fantastic young performers with an all-student audience! We meet a remarkable 13-year-old pianist who shares how much happier she became when she stopped comparing herself to others, a teenage trombone quartet performs two pieces back-to-back that were composed centuries apart, and students from the audience ask the performers questions onstage.
Oct 22, 2018
A brilliant teen guitarist and refugee shares his music
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Parsa Sabet Rasekhi talks with host Christopher O'Riley about his journey to America from Iran and then performs his own composition. "Snowflight."
Oct 15, 2018
Show 351 | Las Vegas NV
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From Las Vegas this week's episode features a teenage piano performing a bombastic piece for two pianos by Lutoslawski, a young guitarist shares his moving story about fleeing Iran to study music in America, and a 13-year-old violinist wows the audience with Paul Nero's whimsical show piece "Hot Canary."
Oct 15, 2018
The Kids Are Alright
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Conductor JoAnn Falletta and host Christopher O'Riley discuss the state of music training and education in the United States.
Oct 08, 2018
Show 333 | Buffalo NY
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From Buffalo, New York this week's episode features some of the best young musicians in the country performing concerto repertoire with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of JoAnn Falletta. A 15-year-old pianist performs a frothy piano concerto movement by Beethoven, a teenage cellist, who's parents are actually players in the orchestra, performs Shostakovich ... and the Buffalo Phil plays a new work by an 18-year-old composer.
Oct 08, 2018
Show 357 | Kalamazoo MI
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From one of the most prestigious teenage music competitions in the country, this episode of From the Top doubles as a documentary featuring the Stulberg International String Competition! In addition to adrenaline-filled performances from three young musicians striving for first prize, we'll hear from the organization's executive director and one of the judges.
Oct 01, 2018
The Rise of the Sax Quartet
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Host Christopher O'Riley speaks with a teen saxophone quartet and their coach about the growing popularity of saxophone quartet music and why sax quartets are so versatile.
Sep 24, 2018
Show 350 | San Antonio TX
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From the Texas Music Educators Association Conference in San Antonio, Texas, this week's inspiring recording of From the Top features a fantastic line-up of all-Texas performers alongside special guests Black Violin! We'll meet a young bassoonist who's willing and able to play any instrument his band director needs covered, an award-winning saxophone quartet performs an exquisite piece by Guillermo Lago, and all the young performers join guests Black Violin on stage for their fun reimagining of "Simple Gifts" by Joseph Brackett.
Sep 24, 2018
Married alums perform Gershwin
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Peter Dugan and Kara Dugan sing Gershwin's "Embraceable You."
Sep 17, 2018
Show HL27
3697
Featuring music and interviews with From the Top alumni who are now professional musicians, this Where are They Now episode brings a delightful mix of performances of Ravel, Gershwin, Schumann, and an original work from one of From the Top's up-and-coming composer alumni.
Sep 17, 2018
O'Riley gets a few tips about Armenian music from Armenian-American teen violinist, Haig Hovsepian
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O'Riley gets a few tips about Armenian music from Armenian-American teen violinist, Haig Hovsepian
Sep 10, 2018
Show 340 | Atlanta GA
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This week From the Top comes from the Bremen Jewish Heritage Museum in Atlanta, Georgia. In honor of that setting, the young performers celebrate Jewish themed music and the music of Jewish composers. We'll hear a teenage violinist perform Ravel's gorgeous Kaddish, a wonderful Atlanta-based youth choir sings a piece by a contemporary Jewish composer, and we'll meet a young guitar player who is one part Texan and one part Israeli.
Sep 10, 2018
Robert Siegel on his own Youth and Music
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Host Christopher O'Riley interviews emeritus host of NPR's All Things Considered, Robert Siegel
Sep 03, 2018
Show 356 | Boston MA
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Recorded live on stage during From the Top's Annual Gala in Boston, this episode features incredible young musicians and a special appearance by NPR's All Things Considered Emeritus Host Robert Siegel. We hear a soprano sing a beautifully ethereal piece by Debussy, a teenage violinist shares how his love of hip-hop inspires him to communicate the power of music to his audiences, and a 10-year-old pianist from Missouri performs an exquisite piece by Chopin.
Sep 03, 2018
The Passion of Schumann according to Goldberg
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Host Christopher O'Riley talks with 17-year-old violinist Alexander Goldberg discuss the work of Robert Schumann.
Aug 27, 2018
Show 349 | Boston MA
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This week's show comes from our hometown of Boston, Massachusetts where we meet an accomplished local pianist who made her Carnegie Hall debut at the age of 7, a young musician who's the second ever double bassist to win the prestigious Stulberg International Strings Competition performs Bottesini, and we get to know a teenage violinist who is also a whiz at New York Times crossword puzzles.
Aug 27, 2018
Shaping a Phrase with a Percussion Instrument
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Host Christopher O'Riley and 17-year-old percussionist Gabriel Costache discuss how to make percussion instruments "sing."
Aug 20, 2018
Show 332 | Austin TX
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From Austin, Texas, this week's From the Top features a nuanced and emotional performance of Rachmaninoff's Prelude in G Sharp Minor, opus 32 by a 14-year-old pianist from California, we'll meet a teenage oboist local to Austin who's also been a world champion knife thrower ... and a young percussionist from Denver performs a mesmerizing piece on the marimba.
Aug 20, 2018
Stravinsky & Iran
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Host Christopher O'Riley talks with teenage pianist Amir Siraj about Stravinsky's Petrouchka and Amir's Iranian heritage.
Aug 13, 2018