Classical 91.5

From the Top

Sundays, 5 to 6pm on WXXI-FM 91.5, WXXY 90.3, WXXI-FM/HD 91.5-1 and online at
  • Hosted by Christopher O'Riley

From the Top with Host Christopher O'Riley celebrates the stories, talents, and character of America s best young classically-trained musicians and the power of classical music through broadcasts, live events, education programs, and more.

The weekly one-hour radio series presents pre-collegiate musicians whose stunning individual performances are combined with lively interviews, unique pre-produced segments, lighthearted sketches and musical games.

Ways to Connect

Drums and Fun: August 2018

Jul 30, 2018
Douglas Waddell

The Percussion Scholarship group of Chicago features students grades three through twelve, that are selected for the group through a rigorous application and interview process, and are granted full scholarships. They have numerous compositions arranged especially for them by nationally known artists.

From the Top July 2018: Music Aids the Mind

Jun 25, 2018

On the first of July, From The Top will feature a musician who lives with Tourette's Syndrome. People with

6/3       From Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, From the Top teams up with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and some talented California teens, including violinist Chunyi Zhou from Irvine, bassoonist John Gonzalez from Los Angeles, and a new work by composer Esther Ollivier from Los Angeles performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Paolo Bortolameolli.

Newman, Williams, Mishkin

The National Youth Orchestra of China performed on the campus of East Stroudsburg University where they were recorded for the May 27th episode of From the Top.  If you think that “youth orchestra” suggests less than virtuosity, you’d be sadly mistaken.  Plus, on May 13th, conductor Marin Alsop works with the National Youth Orchestra of the United States from Carnegie Hall.


4/1       From the Top visits the recital hall of 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 hear a story from a young guitar player about his life as one part Texan and one part Israeli.


Soprano Emily Helenbrook was featured when Rochester hosted From the Top in March 2014.  On the March 18th "Best of..." broadcast, we'll hear her again, or you can hear her in this video where she sings García-Abril: Pero me quede sin ti at the Tippet Rise Art Center Barn with pianist Christopher O'Riley.

Eastman Community School of Music

Eastman School of Music: Flutist Adam Sadberry, a senior from the studio of Bonnie Boyd and an Eastman Community Music School (ECMS) instructor, won the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s African-American Fellowship. Adam will be a member of the DSO flute section for the next two years. The DSO Fellowship Program is designed to enhance the career development of African-American orchestral musicians and the diversity of professional orchestras. Congrats!

Listen | From the Top

2/4        Where Are They Now VIII  Featuring music and interviews with From the Top alumni who are now professional musicians.

2/11      It’s an all-Minnesota show!  Enjoy a virtuosic performance of Ernesto Cavallini’s Adagio and Tarantella by 17-year-old clarinetist Anders Peterson, a teenage pianist shares the story of how he “handpicked” his stepfather when he was just four years old, and a brother and sister piano duo perform a raucous four-hands arrangement of Schubert’s Der Erlkonig.


1/7    Time for Three (violinists Nicolas Kendall and Charles Yang - a From the Top alum, and double-bassist Ranaan Meyer) joins host Christopher O’Riley and some exceptional pre-collegiate musicians for an exciting program featuring music spanning from the 18th to the 21st century.

Reno Philharmonic

12/3      From the Pioneer Center in Reno, Nevada, we feature a local 17-year-old violinist performing Beethoven, a 16-year-old marimba player from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, and the dynamic teenage quartet from Chicago Quartet Bellezza, performing Bartok.  Quartet Bellezza were the Junior Division Gold Medal Winner in the 2017 Fischoff Competition. Formed in the fall of 2016, the group consists of violinists Masha Lakisova and Robert Sanders, violist Peter Dudek, and cellist David Caplan.