From the Top

Based in Boston, From the Top is an independent non-profit organization that celebrates the power of music in the hands of extraordinary young people, reaching more than one million people each year.

As the preeminent showcase for young musicians, From the Top shines a light on diverse young people ages 8 to 18 by sharing their stories and performances, providing scholarships, and engaging them as leaders in national broadcasts, live concerts and outreach events across the country.

These musicians are role models for all ages, proving the value of hard work in the pursuit of excellence. With From the Top's support, they are inspiring and building audiences with a new appreciation for classical music.



From the Top celebrates the power of music in the hands of extraordinary young people:  

  • Unleashing the potential of young musicians as leaders in the arts
  • Trumpeting the role of music to impact and enrich lives
  • Inspiring and building new audiences with a deeper appreciation for classical music


In its thirteenth year on air, From the Top on NPR, hosted by Christopher O’Riley, is one of the most popular weekly music series on public radio and is heralded as “contemporary culture’s feel-good success story,” (San Francisco Chronicle). The show reaches more than 700,000 loyal listeners on 250 stations across the country. 

From the Top has taped more than 260 radio broadcasts in America’s premier concert halls – reaching more than 200,000 live audience members in 141 U.S. cities and 2 international cities. Find out more about how to bring From the Top to your community.

From the Top produced two seasons of its Emmy Award-winning PBS television series, which was praised by teachers and parents as “accessible, educational and entertaining,” with “real kids” and “real value.”


From the Top’s education and outreach programs unleashes the potential of young musicians as leaders in the arts and takes young performers out of the concert hall and into the community, reaching thousands of people across the country each year.

All From the Top performers participate in an arts leadership orientation that offers valuable support and resources for young musicians as they prepare for multi-faceted careers in the arts, inspire and build new audiences for classical music, and use their talents to make a difference for others.

In Boston, 43 high school musicians have donated more than 4,000 hours of community service increasing access to high quality music and learning opportunities for more than 3,000 school children, seniors, and cancer patients at seven partner sites through From the Top's Center for the Development of Arts Leadership (CDAL) Boston

Each year, students across the country experience the power of From the Top role models through classroom visits offered in conjunction with From the Top's national tour. In addition, parents and teachers utilize From the Top's media and lesson plans to inspire their students.

In markets as diverse as Boston, Iowa, Hawaii, and Newark, From the Top has made a deeper impression through long-term residency programs.

Millions of second through twelfth graders learn about From the Top performers in music textbooks and listen to their radio performances on companion CDs through From the Top’s collaboration with Macmillan/McGraw Hill Publishers.


From the Top and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation have invested more than $1.8 million in scholarships to more than 175 high achieving pre-collegiate musicians with financial need.


Nearly 3,000 young artists ages 8-18 from nearly all of the 50 states have been featured on From the Top’s radio and television programs and participated in From the Top's arts leadership orientations. From the Top alumni now hold major positions in American orchestras, many are emerging as part of a new generation of artist teachers and digital pioneers, and some are pursuing careers in medicine, science, and other fields.

Over the years, From the Top has featured prominent guest artists on its radio and television programs including Yo Yo Ma, Hilary Hahn, Bobby McFerrin, Midori, Béla Fleck, Joshua Bell, Sir James Galway, Michael Feinstein, and more.


From the Top's produces digital media for its YouTube channel, podcasts, and mobile application.

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