Alumni Updates

We are always thrilled to hear from past From the Top performers. Here is another round of updates from our accomplished alumni.  To our alumni and parents: keep them coming!

Julian Schwartz. Photo by

Julian Schwartz. Photo from

17-year-old cellist Julian Schwartz, who was on From the Top’s radio show in 2007, was profiled in a recent issue of Teen Strings. Matt Sircely’s article says Julian, who just graduated from high school, “already has laid the foundation for a remarkable career.”

Kevin Sims is all grown up! The percussionist, who was on the show when he was in high school, has since graduated from Manhattan School of Music and is now affiliated with Red Light New Music, who played the Kennedy Center in May. Kevin’s bio for Red Light is here.

Maud Laforest. Photo by

Maud Laforest. Photo from

Guitarist Maud Laforest (who now has her own website) was selected as an artist for DECLIC, a program sponsored by the French government to promote young professional artists in France and elsewhere. She was in Guitare Classique magazine – twice! – and also gave a recital as part of the Vochora festival. (Use Google Translate if you haven’t quite gotten around to learning French).

Anne Dailey, who was Christopher O’Riley’s official “Texas Page Turner” when she was younger, is off to Yale in the fall. Congratulations Anne, and thanks to her parents for writing From the Top.

14-year-old pianist Arianna Korting, who performed on From the Top last year, has some exciting news: on June 6, she won first place in the Ohio Buckeye State Finals Piano Competition! Arianna was also a recent prizewinner in the Stravinsky Awards Piano Competition.

Alisa Jordheim, a two-time From the Top alumna, graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Music degree in Voice from the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati in 2008. Alisa’s working towards her Master of Music degree in Voice, but she’s already an accomplished performer. She wrote in to tell us that this summer she has two roles with Central City Opera, and she was voted “Audience Favorite” at Dayton Opera this year. She also performed as a soprano soloist singing Mozart’s Mass in C Minor.

Keitaro Hamara. Photo courtesy of the ArizonaStar and Keitaro Hamara

Keitaro Hamara. Photo from the Arizona Star, courtesy of Keitaro Hamara.

James Danner, the handsome tenor who was on From the Top’s radio show in March 2007, was spotted by New York Magazine for his fashion sense and preppy good looks.

Keitaro Harada was a saxophonist when From the Top last saw him in 2003, but as the Arizona Star reported, he’s moved on to conducting. He’s now a successful professional conductor, and has been chosen as an associate conductor at the Castleton Festival, (run by former conductor of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Lorin Maazel)!

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