From the Top

From the Top

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

All Episodes

A 16-year-old violist plays one of Brahms' most beautiful sonatas, a young percussionist shares an experience that inspired him to connect with his Mexican-American heritage, and a teen violinist recalls his "bucket list" performance at the White House for First Lady Michelle Obama.

Nov 29

59 min 37 sec

Corey Dundee, who is now a member of the award winning Kenari Quartet, appeared on From the Top as a teenager. Here his teen performance of Russell Peck's "The Upward Stream" with the Cincinnati Pops under the direction of Erich Kunzel

Nov 22

10 min 17 sec

This week we hear a mambo for harp, one of Debussy's earliest works, a Spiritual arranged by composer Margaret Bonds, and a fiddle finale with a 12-year-old national champion. Violinist Tessa Lark joins as co-host.

Nov 15

59 min 36 sec

This week's short form podcast features a 17-year-old pianist performing an excerpt from Prokofiev's Piano Sonata No. 1 and her swim-team coach chimes in to rave about her performance in the pool.

Nov 8

8 min 46 sec

A pair of sisters from New York deliver a brilliant performance of Mozart. They're joined by a 16-year-old pianist playing Chopin, a talented young composer, and a violist who shares her powerful experiences with synesthesia.

Nov 1

59 min 38 sec

Horror movies can definitely inspire a great classical music performance. They certainly inspired 14-year-old harpist Anna DeLoi in 2010. Back then, Anna shared a chilling tale and a riveting performance that's bound to get you ready for the spookiest of seasons. Check it out on this week's installment of our short-form series of amazing FTT moments from the archives.

Oct 25

7 min 27 sec

A piano duo plays Saint-Saëns' thrilling Danse Macabre, a teenage violinist performs Jessie Montgomery's "Peace" and reflects on a stunning experience deep in a cave in Virginia, we also hear from a winner of the prestigious Junior Sphinx competition.

Oct 18

59 min 37 sec

In 2002, then 18-year-old guitarist Gohar Vardanyan treated our audiences to a inspired performance of Spanish guitar music and a funny story about her dad. 19 years later, we're revisiting that moment as part of our new short-form series of amazing FTT moments from the archives.

Oct 11

5 min 7 sec

The young violist on this week's show actually built his own instrument. Hear that story alongside dazzling performances of Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Jessie Montgomery and more.

Oct 4

59 min 36 sec

In 2001, 12-year-old composer Sebastian Chang shared his brilliant music with us. Twenty years later, his compositions are now performed by orchestras around the world. Hear Sebastian's early days as a composer as part of our new short-form series of amazing FTT moments from the archives.

Sep 27

7 min 24 sec

Featuring some of the most exciting performances from the past few seasons, this program features a powerful performance of a Chopin's Sonata; a moving story from a teenage guitarist who fled Iran for religious reasons, and a showy and charismatic performance of the Carmen Fantasy by a 16-year-old violinist.

Sep 20

59 min 18 sec

Back in 2011, 55 high school aged vocalists from Norman, OK blew our audience away with their powerful performance of Eric Whitacre. It was so powerful that we're revisiting it 10 years later as part of our new short-form series of amazing FTT moments from the archives.

Sep 13

7 min 20 sec

We're back, and we're kicking off our 22nd season with two up-and-coming composers, a 13-year-old's performance of Shostakovich, a 15-year-old playing Kreisler, and more. Listen to Co-Host / Creative Alex Laing join our host, Peter Dugan, for this episode.

Sep 6

59 min 19 sec

Special guest Kevin Olusola co-hosts this commemoration of Juneteenth featuring outstanding young Black musicians performing works by Florence Price, Coleridge-Taylor, Sam Cooke and more.

Jun 14

1 hr

Some of the most fun music written for violin is performed brilliantly by a 15-year-old violinist. Also on the program, a talented 10-year-old pianist, and young musicians performing exciting new repertoire.

May 31

1 hr 1 min

A 15-year-old pianist performs the music of Shostakovich. She's joined by a teenage cellist performing Schumann, and a cellist who shares her experience rehearsing with an artificially intelligent piano.

May 17

1 hr 1 min

A late Beethoven piano sonata is performed by a teenage pianist. He's joined by a string quartet made up entirely of siblings, a talented 16-year-old violinist, and a cellist who shares a moving performance of Rachmaninoff.

Apr 19

1 hr 1 min

GRAMMY-nominated violinist and From the Top Co-Host / Creative Tessa Lark joins Peter Dugan and a cohort of extraordinary teenage musicians in this episode. A 15-year-old violinist gets a coaching from Tessa and we hear performances of Bach, Chopin, Dvorák and more.

Mar 29

1 hr

A teenage flutist's playful performance of Carmen Fantasie kicks off this week's program. We also meet a precocious group of young musicians playing the music of Bach, Chopin, and Cahuzac.

Mar 1

1 hr

A brilliant young trumpeter performs the music of Haydn. He's joined by a 15-year-old cellist performing a classic showpiece, a talented teenage piano duo from Hawaii, and two young musicians with deeply expressive solo performances.

Feb 15

1 hr

It's our "Where are They Now" show where we find out what alumni of From the Top have been doing lately and hear their fantastic music. We revisit two alums who are part of the award winning Calidore String Quartet, speak to a harpist who's founded her own non-profit and enjoy a thrilling new work for cello.

Jan 25

1 hr

Two sisters from Hawaii kick off the program with the virtuosic music of Sarasate, we enjoy an expressive performance of Villa-Lobos by a young cellist, a stunning harp-piano duo, and the world premiere of a teenage composer's work for string quartet.

Jan 4

1 hr

The victorious finale from Stravinsky's Firebird Suite is performed by a teenage pianist. He's joined by a talented 14-year-old performing Beethoven, and a young violinist whose musical roots span two continents.

Dec 2020

1 hr

One of the strongest teenage piano trios in the country performs Beethoven with passion and precision. They're joined by a young vocalist performing Shakespeare, and a 15-year-old violinist who might be an orchestral conductor someday.

Nov 2020

59 min 50 sec

Charismatic violinist Charles Yang co-hosts a program that features a cheerful 11-year-old guitarist, a spirited performance of Shostakovich, and an imaginative 18-year-old's new music for quartet.

Nov 2020

59 min 56 sec

Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue is a favorite of many, and this week we have a brilliant performance of this work by two young marimba players. Listen also for a 14-year-old pianist performing Rachmaninoff, and a stunning performance of Brahms by a young violist. Guest Hosted by Orli Shaham.

Oct 2020

59 min 43 sec

Pianist Orli Shaham returns to host From the Top and shares her Mozart expertise with two young musicians. We also meet a 14-year-old violinist with dreams of going to space, a dazzling young pianist who performs Liszt, and a teenage flutist who discusses her passion for the Supreme Court.

Oct 2020

59 min 20 sec

Violinist Vijay Gupta and pianist Peter Dugan perform "Dance of the Blessed Spirits" from Orfeo and Euridice by Christoph Willibald Gluck. This performance was recorded as part of From the Top episode 386 produced at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, California.

Oct 2020

4 min 52 sec

Violinist and social activist, Vijay Gupta co-hosts this program with pianist Peter Dugan. We hear A teenage saxophone quartet from Texas perform a thrilling piece of contemporary classical music from Brazil ... also the superb Los Angeles Children's Chorus performs the music of J.S. Bach ... and a 10-year-old pianist tackles the "Winter Wind" etude by Chopin.

Sep 2020

59 min 44 sec

Host Peter Dugan takes us on a trip down memory lane to enjoy some of the most outstanding music and memorable interviews from the past couple of seasons. We'll meet a teenage violinist who has grown up off the grid in rural Indiana, a young pianist from Georgia performs a beautifully impressionistic work for solo piano by Alexandre Tansman, and a 12-year-old cellist performs the music of David Popper and then solves a Rubik's Cube, live, on-stage in under 19 seconds.

Sep 2020

59 min

Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe, the pianists who make up the popular piano duo, "Anderson and Roe" guest host the second of two episodes recorded in Fairfax, Virginia. Greg and Elizabeth collaborate with young performers on the program including a rather philosophical 17-year-old violinist from Indiana and an extraordinary counter tenor from Massachusetts tells us how he realized he was a counter tenor and performs music by Handel.

Sep 2020

59 min

Featuring interviews with From the Top alumni and music they're making in their early professional careers, this program features an alum pianist who has released an album to raise money for the people of Flint, Michigan, the alum winner of last year's Queen Elizabeth Competition and an alum baritone who just won his first Grammy.

Jun 2020

59 min

Hosted by pianist Peter Dugan this is From the Top's second "Blanket Fort" show. Created during the quarantine of the Covid19 crisis, this episode features young musicians recording themselves in their own homes (in makeshift studios or "Blanket Forts") under From the Top's supervision and it features long distance musical collaborations. Performers include one of the youngest classical guitarists From the Top has ever featured and a teenage composer who discovered his love for music during a difficult time when his immigrant family had no permanent home.

Jun 2020

59 min

Pianist and From the Top host, Peter Dugan, performs his own piano arrangement of the "Jupiter" movement from "The Planets" by Gustav Holst.

May 2020

8 min 13 sec

In response to the Covid 19 pandemic and the required social distancing, this episode hosted by pianist Peter Dugan features our young performers recording in their own homes under From the Top's guidance and even doing some long-distance musical collaborations with Peter Dugan

Apr 2020

1 hr 1 min

Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe, the two pianists that make up the piano duo Anderson and Roe, host this week's From the Top. The first of two From the Top programs recorded in Fairfax, Virginia, both Greg and Liz collaborate with the young musicians on the program.

Apr 2020

58 min 59 sec

Show 383, From New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall in Boston and co-hosted by 14-Time Grammy Award winning clarinetist Paquito D'Rivera along with pianist Peter Dugan features collaborations between Maestro D'Rivera and From the Top's Young Musicians.

Mar 2020

59 min 27 sec

This episode features beautiful music and interviews selected out of From the Top's 20 year deep archive including a rambunctious performance by a 14-year-old pianist, a young bassoonist who shares the moving story of falling in love with the bassoon during difficult times ... and the National Youth Orchestra of America performs the music of Leonard Bernstein.

Mar 2020

59 min 26 sec

From the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Massachusetts, this week's program, hosted by pianist Peter Dugan includes a 12-year-old cellist performing David Popper and fiery Spanish music performed by a 15-year-old guitarist.

Mar 2020

59 min

From Key West, Florida and co-hosted by pianist Peter Dugan and violinist Elena Urioste this program features a clarinet quartet from Miami and a jaw dropping performance by a 12-year-old from Ohio.

Feb 2020

59 min

Hosted by Peter Dugan, this week's From the Top comes from Morristown, New Jersey and features a fiery teenage cellist and a high school choir with a deep unified sound.

Feb 2020

59 min

Show 377, the first of two shows in Morristown, New Jersey with host Peter Dugan

Feb 2020

59 min 26 sec

In our second 2019 episode from Portland, Maine, guest host, pianist Orli Shaham introduces us to a fantastic crew of young musicians

Jan 2020

59 min 30 sec

Pianist Orli Shaham hosts the first of two From the Top episodes in Portland, Maine.

Dec 2019

59 min 25 sec

Pianist Peter Dugan hosts a From the Top Highlights Program HL-28 featuring great performances and interviews from the past couple of seasons.

Dec 2019

1 hr

Pianist Alessio Bax is interviewed by From the Top host, Peter Dugan about being the Jury Chairman at the Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition.

Nov 2019

19 min 50 sec

Guest host, pianist Simone Dinnerstein performs the break piece from the show she hosted in San Marcos, Texas: Les Barricades Mysterieuses by Francois Couperin

Nov 2019

4 min 39 sec

Violinist Tessa Lark and bassist / composer Michael Thurber perform their original piece, "Cedar and Sage" with the teenage Kalico String Quartet from the New York Area; Cheng-Io Lo and Leena Marie Stoger, violins, Kevin Wallace, viola, and his twin brother, Andrew Wallace, cello.

Nov 2019

6 min 10 sec

The Multi-Style/Multi-Tradition Duo Tessa Lark, violin, and Michael Thurber, bass host From the Top Show 376 in Boston Massachusetts. They perform Bach with a young cellist and one of their own compositions with a teenage string quartet.

Nov 2019

1 hr 2 min

Guest host, pianist Jeremy Denk performs the second movement of Sonata No. 16 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Oct 2019

4 min 45 sec