October 5, 2015
From the Bravo! Vail Festival in Vail, Colorado, this week's From the Top features one of the top training orchestras in the United States: The National Repertory Orchestra. We'll enjoy the youthful energy of this ensemble in performances of the music of Falla and Poulenc. Also, a gifted teenage violinist from Washington State shares the moving story of how music transformed her from a completely emotionally shut-down child to a vivacious leader in her youth orchestra.
September 28, 2015
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.
September 21, 2015
From the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, New York, today's show features a virtuosic teenage recorder player (a rare breed in this country) who is not only an amazing musician, but also a formidable researcher of the Baroque era. Also, a 16-year-old pianist performs a Chopin favorite, and a young violinist shares a humorous tale of teenage romance.
September 14, 2015
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.
September 7, 2015
In the contemporary spirit of performance trends like Groupmuse in which young performers organize impromptu house concerts to play chamber music, From the Top presents its first "House Concert" from Boston, Massachusetts, and it has a decidedly more intimate feel. A cellist who's just 11 years old performs the music of David Popper, and we meet a teenage classical guitarist who's also a poet, a neuroscience nerd, and a serious skateboarder.
August 31, 2015
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 kind 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.
August 24, 2015
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.
August 17, 2015
From the campus of SUNY Purchase, New York, this week's From the Top features Carnegie Hall's National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America. We'll hear this tremendous young ensemble perform works by Bernstein and Gershwin as well as a new piece by Samuel Adams (son of composer John Adams). We'll also hear a young oboist perform the music of Saint-Saëns, and three members of the orchestra join host Christopher O'Riley to perform a movement of Fauré's Piano Quartet No. 1 in C minor.
August 10, 2015
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.
August 3, 2015
From Norfolk, Virginia, this week's episode features a violin-cello duo local made up of two wonderfully talented brothers. Their unusually generous and easygoing humor with each other is not only charming, but it also makes for a seamless musical collaboration. We'll also hear a spirited performance from Mozart's Sonata No. 12 by a pianist who's just 11 years old, and we'll meet a 15-year-old violinist who happens to have some success as an actress: she recently landed a guest role in the new NBC series "Believe."