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Sunday > YPR Program Guide > Program Listings > From the Top

From the Top

Thursdays, 11am & Sundays, noon

Program Website:

From the Top LogoFrom the Top is a performance showcase for America’s best young classical musicians, from ages 9-18, celebrating their commitment to music and the arts. Acclaimed pianist Christopher O’Riley proves that he is “young at heart” as an egalitarian host. The program provides a platform for young artists to present themselves, share their passion, and develop into cultural leaders.

Read an article from Current magazine concerning From The Top's move into television as well as radio.

July 2 (repeated July 5)

From our home in Boston, Massachusetts, our 300th episode features an 11-year-old who is not only a precocious violinist, but 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.

14-year-old pianist Anna Larsen, from Needham, Massachusetts performing “Thirds” and “Ocean” from 12 Etudes, Op. 25: No. 6 in G-sharp minor by Frederic Chopin

11-year-old violinist Henry Ayanna from Somerville, Massachusetts performing “Danse Espagnole” by Manuel de Falla, arr Kreisler, with Christopher O'Riley, piano.

15-year-old double bass player Christopher Laven from Wayland, Massachusetts performing “Chanson Triste” by Serge Koussevitzky, with Christopher O'Riley, piano. 

16-year-old cellist Andrew Byun, from Boston, Massachusetts performing the third movement, Andante, from the Sonata in G minor for Cello and Piano, Op.19 by Sergei Rachmaninoff, with Christopher O'Riley, piano. 

Merit School of Music Honors Brass Trio, coached by Tim Riordan, performing Two Pastiches for Brass Trio by Walter Hartley.
18-year-old trumpet player Ricardo Zapata from Chicago
18-year-old horn player David Sweeney from Lindenhurst, Illinois 
17-year-old trombone player Adriel Garcia from Chicago, Illinois

July 9 (repeated July 12)

This week, From the Top comes to you from New World Center in beautiful Miami Beach, Florida. Among the featured performers, you'll meet a 13-year-old violinist who’s studying with a New World Symphony fellow, a 16-year-old violist who is an outspoken champion of the viola, and a 17-year-old soprano who is taught by her Grammy Award-winning mom. Also, you'll hear a movement of the Brahms Piano Quintet performed by current New World Symphony fellows who just happen to be alumni of our show!

13-year-old violinist Nicholas Abrahams from Pembroke Pines, Florida, performs Romanza Andaluza from Spanish Dances, Op. 22 by Pablo de Sarasate, with pianist Christopher O'Riley

18-year-old pianist Michelle Zhao (Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist) from Guangdong, China, performs Ricercare and Toccata on a Theme from The Old Maid and the Thief

17-year-old soprano Virginia Mims
from West Palm Beach, Florida, performs "Il bacio" by Luigi Arditi, with pianist Christopher O'Riley

Flutist Matthew Roitstein performs Scherzo from the Sonata for Flute and Piano in D, Op. 94 by Sergei Prokofiev, with pianist Christopher O'Riley

16-year-old violist Mira Williams (Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist) from  Chicago, Illinois, Fantasie, Op. 94  by Johann Nepomuk Hummel, with pianist Christopher O'Riley

New World Symphony Fellows (violinists Audrey Wright and Julia Noone; violist Kallie Ciechomski; and cellist Rosanna Butterfield) and pianist Christopher O'Riley perform the Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 34, III. Scherzo by Johannes Brahms

July 16 (repeated July 19)

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.

Performers and repertoire:

The Starling Chamber Orchestra from Cincinnati, Ohio, performs the third movement, Rondeau, from Serenade for Orchestra No. 6 in D major, K. 239, “Serenata notturna,” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, conducted by Kurt Sassmannshaus.

17-year-old pianist Yilun Xu (Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist) from New York City performs “Feux d’artifice” (“Fireworks”) from Préludes, Book II, by Claude Debussy.

12-year-old violinist Skye Park from Lexington, Kentucky, performs “Salut d’amour” by Edward Elgar with the Starling Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Kurt Sassmannshaus

The Starling/From the Top Alumni Trio performs Serenade (Siciliano) for Three Violins and Piano by Joseph Hellmesberger Sr, with pianist Christopher O’Riley.

    24-year-old violinist Tessa Lark from Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts
    21-year-old violinist Jonathan Miron from New York City
    25-year-old violinist Charles Yang from New York City

17-year-old horn player Avery Roth-Hawthorne (Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist) from Oakland, California, performs the first movement, Adagio, from Adagio and Allegro, Op. 70, by Robert Schumann, with pianist Christopher O’Riley.

Christopher O’Riley and the Starling Chamber Orchestra perform the third movement, Rondeau – Allegretto, from Piano Concerto No. 12 in A major, K. 414, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, conducted by Kurt Sassmannshaus.

July 23 (repeated July 26)                    

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.

Performers and repertoire:

15-year-old pianist Derek Wang from Needham, Massachusetts, performs Toccata in D minor, Op. 11, by Sergei Prokofiev (1891–1953).

18-year-old violinist Sophia Stoyanovich from Bainbridge Island, Washington, performs Romance for Violin and Piano by her father, Patrick Stoyanovich (b. 1962), with pianist Christopher O’Riley.

17-year-old soprano Kresley Figueroa from Flagstaff, Arizona, performs “Adieu, notre petite table” from Manon by Jules Massenet (1842–1912) with pianist Christopher O’Riley.

16-year-old violist Maia Hoffman (Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist) from Portland, Oregon, performs the second movement, Lebhaft, from Märchenbilder (Fairy Tale Pictures) for Viola and Piano, Op. 113, by Robert Schumann (1810–1856) with pianist Christopher O’Riley.

15-year-old cellist Jeremy Tai from Cupertino, California, performs the first movement, Allegro agitato, from Cello Sonata in A minor, Op. 36, by Edvard Grieg (1843–1907) with pianist Christopher O’Riley.

The Konpeito Cello Quartet performs “The Path of the Wind” by Joe Hisaishi, arranged by Jeremy Tai.

    17-year-old cellist Irene Jeong from Palo Alto, California
    16-year-old cellist Catherine Kim from Palo Alto, California
    17-year-old cellist Minku Lee from Palo Alto, California
    15-year-old cellist Jeremy Tai from Cupertino, California

July 30 (repeated August 2)

From Seattle, Washington, this week's program features a local teenage violinist 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.”

Performers and repertoire:

17-year-old cellist Audrey Chen from Redmond, Washington, performs Variations on a Theme by Rossini by Niccolò Paganini, with pianist Christopher O’Riley.

16-year-old pianist Agata Sorotokin from San Jose, California, performs movements from “Musical Toys” by Sofia Gubaidulina.
     “Mechanical Accordion”
     “Magic Roundabout”
     “A Bear Playing Double Bass and the Black Woman”
     “The Woodpecker”
     “The Drummer”

17-year-old violinist Felicity James from Seattle, Washington, performs the second movement, Nigun (Improvisation) from Baal Shem, Three Pictures of Hassidic Life for Violin and Piano by Ernest Bloch, with pianist Christopher O’Riley.

18-year-old composer Jack Gulielmetti from New York, New York, has movements of his piano trio Tropholingua performed by 18-year-old cellist Joseph Teeter from Topeka, Kansas; 17-year-old violinist Felicity James from Seattle, Washington; and 16-year-old pianist Agata Sorotokin from San Jose, California.

     I.     As if floating
     II.    Resurrection and the Life
     IV.   Rising upwards, no sense of downbeat
     V.    Finishing a phrase, as well as keeping your own voice”
     XX. Resurrected, building to the moment”
Jack's appearance on From the Top is supported by ASCAP Foundation Jack and Amy Norworth Fund.
Precipice Saxophone Quartet performs the fifth movement, Fanfare/Variations on “Durch Adams Fall” (Through Adam’s Fall), from Recitation Book for Saxophone Quartet by David Maslanka.

    18-year-old soprano saxophonist Justin Udry from Kenosha, Wisconsin
    17-year-old alto saxophonist Elizabeth Rangel (Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist) from Chicago, Illinois
    18-year-old tenor saxophonist Logan Curry from Maywood, Illinois
    17-year-old baritone saxophonist Shane Woods from Matteson, Illinois

August 6 (repeated August 9)

From Norfolk, Virginia, this week’s episode features a violin-cello duo 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.”

Performers and repertoire:

19-year-old violinist Brendon Elliott and 14-year-old cellist Sterling Elliott from Newport News, Virginia, perform Passacaglia in G minor on a Theme by Handel by Johan Halvorsen.

11-year-old pianist Kyle Hu from Yorktown, Virginia, performs the third movement, Allegro assai, from Piano Sonata No. 12 in F major, K. 332, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

15-year-old violinist Alissa Mori from New York, New York, performs the second movement, Allegro moderato, from Sonata No. 1 for Violin and Piano, Op. 75, by Camille Saint-Saëns, with pianist Christopher O’Riley.

17-year-old soprano Emily Pogorelc from Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, performs “Kommt ein schlanker Bursch gegangen” from Der Freischütz by Carl Maria von Weber, with pianist Christopher O’Riley.

16-year-old double bassist Lena Goodson from York, Pennsylvania, performs Intermezzo,Op. 9, No. 1, by Reinhold Glière, with pianist Christopher O’Riley.

The Rhythm Project All Stars
perform an arrangement of the Overture to The Barber of Seville by Gioacchino Rossini for steel drum ensemble.

August 13 (repeated August 16)

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.

Performers and repertoire:

18-year-old violist Erika Gray from Wilmette, Illinois, performs “La campanella” by Niccolò Paganini, arranged by William Primrose, with pianist Christopher O’Riley.

17-year-old oboist Ryan Roberts from Santa Monica, California, performs the first movement, Élégie, from Sonata for Oboe and Piano by Francis Poulenc, with pianist Christopher O’Riley.

14-year-old violinist Ilana Zaks from Needham, Massachusetts, performs Souvenirs d’Amérique, Variations on “Yankee Doodle,” Op. 17, by Henri Vieuxtemps, with pianist Christopher O’Riley.

17-year-old harpist Phoebe Durand McDonnell (Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist) from Bar Harbor, Maine, performs the first movement, Mässig schnell, from Sonata for Harp by Paul Hindemith.

17-year-old pianist Christopher Staknys from Falmouth, Maine, performs Étude-Tableau No. 1 in C minor, Op. 39, by Sergei Rachmaninoff.

14-year-old violinist Ilana Zaks from Needham, Massachusetts, performs the third movement, Allegro vivace, from Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 8 in G major, Op. 30, No. 3, by Ludwig van Beethoven, with pianist Christopher O’Riley.

August 20 (repeated August 23)

This week, From the Top is broadcasting from The Performing Arts Center at Purchase College where the National Youth Orchestra of the USA has been in residence for two weeks, preparing for their national tour. You'll hear 120 of America's best and brightest young musicians that have been brought together by the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall performing works by Bernstein and Gershwin as well as a premiering a new piece by Samuel Adams, all under the baton of conductor David Robertson. 

The National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA) performs Prologue and Mambo from Symphonic Dances from West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein.

18-year-old clarinetist Silvio Guitian from Baltimore, Maryland, performs the first movement, Allegretto, from Sonata for Clarinet and Piano in E-flat major, Op. 167, by Camille Saint-Saëns, with pianist Christopher O’Riley.

NYO-USA performs Radial Play by Samuel Adams.

The NYO-USA Piano Quartet performs the fourth movement, Allegro molto, from Piano Quartet No. 1 in C minor, Op. 15, by Gabriel Fauré.

    17-year-old violinist Soyeong Park from Princeton Junction, New Jersey
    17-year-old violist Martine Thomas from Rochester, New York
    18-year-old cellist Kartik Papatla from Mequon, Wisconsin
    Pianist Christopher O’Riley

NYO-USA performs Porgy and Bess: A Symphonic Picture by George Gershwin, arranged by Robert Russell Bennett

August 27 (repeated August 30)

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.

Performers and repertoire:

Quartet Fuoco performs the fifth movement, Allegro molto, from String Quartet No. 4 by Béla Bartók (1881–1945).

    17-year-old violinist Rachel Stenzel from Holiday Hills, Illinois
    16-year-old violinist Aidan Perreault from Skokie, Illinois
    18-year-old violist David Berghoff from Chicago, Illinois
    17-year-old cellist Christopher Gao from Long Grove, Illinois

18-year-old soprano Katherine Leidlein from Lake Jackson, Texas, performs “Chanson triste” by Henri Duparc (1848–1933), with pianist Christopher O’Riley.

 18-year-old guzheng player Rujia Teng from Rockville, Maryland, performs “The Eternal Sorrow of Lin’An” by Zhanhao He (b. 1933), with pianist Christopher O’Riley.

14-year-old pianist Andrew Li from Lexington, Massachusetts, performs Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6 in D-flat major, S.244/6, by Franz Liszt (1811–1886).

Guest composer and pianist Matthew Aucoin performs “Corona” from his Celan Fragments, with 17-year-old violinist Yuki Beppu from Lexington, Massachusetts.

Quartet Fuoco performs the fourth movement, Allegro molto, from String Quartet No. 2 in A minor by William Walton (1902–1983).

September 3 (repeated September 6)

This week's From the Top is broadcast from Calderwood Hall at Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, as part of the Massachusetts' Cultural Council's National Summit on Creative Youth Development. You'll meet a guitarist who’s an expert on roller coasters and a teenage cellist from New Orleans whose family is French-American but who loves all things Korean. Performances on this show range from a Chopin piano favorite to the wild ride of a trombone quartet.

15-year-old violinist Tristan Flores (Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist) from Lexington, Massachusetts, performs Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso in A minor, Op. 28, by Camille Saint-Saëns (1835–1921), with pianist Christopher O’Riley.

18-year-old pianist Phuong Nghi Pham from Dorchester, Massachusetts, performs the first movement, Grave – Doppio movimento, from Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor, Op. 35, by Frédéric Chopin (1810–1849).

The Bone Rangers from Chicago, Illinois, perform the second movement, Presto, from Tissington Variations by Raymond Premru (1934–1998).

    17-year-old trombonist Tanner Jackson from Tinley Park, Illinois
    15-year-old trombonist Alex Kusper from Orland Park, Illinois
    17-year-old trombonist Gabriel Ramos (Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist) from Chicago, Illinois
    15-year-old trombonist Ivan Saenz (Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist) from Chicago, Illinois

17-year-old cellist Georgia Bourderionnet (Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist) from New Orleans, Louisiana, performs the second movement, Allegro, from Sonata for Cello and Piano in D minor, Op. 40, by Dmitri Shostakovich (1906–1975), with pianist Christopher O’Riley.

17-year-old guitarist David Steinhardt from Pittsford, New York, performs “Usher-Waltz” by Nikita Koshkin (b. 1956).

The Bone Rangers and David Steinhardt perform “No More Blues” by Antônio Carlos Jobim (1927–1994), arranged by Kim Scharnberg.

September 10 (repeated September 13)

This week, From the Top is broadcasting from a private home in the Back Bay area of Boston, Massachusetts. You’ll hear amazing performances and inspiring stories from some of America’s best young classical musicians.

Performers and repertoire to be announced.

September 17 (repeated September 20)

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.

Performers and repertoire:

12-year-old violinist Kevin Miura from Irvine, California, performs “Andante con moto e poco rubato” and “Allegro ben ritmato e deciso” from Three Preludes by George Gershwin.

16-year-old tenor Samuel Rosner from Scarsdale, New York, performs his own composition, “Ashrei Hagafrur” (Blessed is the match).

18-year-old clarinetist Martin Kocev from Interlochen, Michigan, performs “Brazileira” from Scaramouche by Darius Milhaud.

18-year-old cellist Eddie Pogossian from Glendale, California, performs “Prayer” from From Jewish Life by Ernst Bloch.

The Brunnendale String Quartet from Natick, Massachusetts, performs “Alla Valse Viennese” and “Alla Tarantella” from Five Pieces by Erwin Schulhoff.
17-year-old violinist Caroline Joyner from Ridgefield, Connecticut
18-year-old violinist Claire Walter from Keene, New Hampshire
17-year-old violist Chris Rogers-Beadle from Hingham, Massachusetts
17-year-old cellist Erica Ogihara from Miami, Florida

September 24 (repeated September 27)

This week, From the Top returns to the famed Chautauqua Institution for a show at the Amphitheater. You’ll hear amazing performances and inspiring stories from some of America’s best young classical musicians.

Lucas Stratmann, violin, 18, from New York, New York, performing Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, Op.28 by Camille Saint-Saëns (1835–1921), with Christopher O'Riley, piano.

Elisabeth Tsai, piano, 16, from Phenix City, Alabama, performing Andante spianato et Grande polonaise brillante by Frédéric Chopin (1810–1849).

Martin Bernstein, recorder, 18, from Brooklyn, New York, performing the first movement, Preludio: Allegro, and the second movement, Allemanda: Allegro, from the Sonata in F major, Op. 5, No. 11 by Arcangelo Corelli (1653–1713), with Christopher O'Riley, piano.

Megan Yip, cello, 18, from Portland, Oregon, performing "Venetianisches Gondellied" (Venetian Boat Song) from Songs Without Words by Felix Mendelssohn (1809–1847), arr. Friedrich Grützmacher (1832-1903), with Christopher O'Riley, piano.

Piano Trio including Hannah White, violin, 15, from Germantown, Wisconsin, (with Christopher O’Riley and Megan Yip) performing Primavera Porteña from The Four Seasons of Beunos Aires by Astor Piazzolla (1921–1992).

Note that Hannah is a student of Almita Vamos at the Music Institute of Chicago. Almita teaches at Chautauqua during the summer along with her husband, Roland.

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