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


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.

The Classical Source

11/5      Marin Alsop and 120 of America’s best and brightest young musicians that have been brought together to form the National Youth Orchestra of the United States by the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall.  They’ll perform Adams: Short Ride in a Fast Machine Mahler: Movement 2 from Symphony No. 1, Titan  Frank: Tone Poem for Orchestra.


This month From the Top performs just down the Thruway at Kleinhan's Music Hall with the Buffalo Philharmonic (10/15 broadcast).

September 2017 From the Top

Aug 28, 2017
From the Top

9/3        From Honolulu, Hawaii we’ll feature the excellent Hawaii Youth Symphony Orchestra performing a piece inspired by vintage popular music from the islands. We’ll also hear the 13-year-old junior winner of the prestigious Menuhin International Violin Competition performing music of Prokofiev, and a 15-year-old clarinetist who got his start in the visionary free urban music training programs of Los Angeles.

August 2017 From the Top

Jul 31, 2017
From the Top

8/6        From El Paso’s Plaza Theatre, performances from violinist Claire Wells, harpist Adam Phan, composer and pianist Karalyn Schubring, flutist Madison Fanning, and pianist Adrian Liao.

8/13      From Boston, Massachusetts we’ll feature a 12-year-old cellist Sean Yu performing a show piece by David Popper, the Young Women’s Chamber Choir of Boston’s famous Handel and Haydn Society, hornist Helen Wargelin, pianist Wenfang (Ivan) Han, and violinist Sammy Andonian.