Announcing the Big Break: From the Top & Carnegie Hall Search for America’s Best Young Musicians

We are excited to partner with Carnegie Hall to announce the Big Break a new online contest that offers young musicians the chance to compete for a spot on NPR’s From the Top  radio broadcast, hosted by Christopher O’Riley, as well as an opportunity to grace the stage at Carnegie Hall, performing in a Carnegie Hall Family Concert in Zankel Hall in spring 2011.

Through November 18, musicians ages 8-18 who are United States residents are invited to submit a video of a solo classical performance at (For musicians age 13 and younger, entries must be submitted by a parent or guardian.) Please note: previous From the Top soloists are not eligible for this contest.

All Big Break entries received by November 18 will be reviewed by a panel of judges at From the Top and Carnegie Hall who will select a group of finalists to move on to a public voting stage, beginning in late November. Public voting will begin around November 29 and end on December 14. The Big Break’s grand-prize winner selected by the public will appear on an upcoming national radio broadcast of From the Top on NPR with host Christopher O’Riley. The grand-prize winner plus several runners-up will also perform at a Carnegie Hall Family Concert on April 9 in Zankel Hall, produced in partnership with From the Top and hosted by Mr. O’Riley. Big Break winners will be announced in mid-December.

Each year, From the Top receives thousands of applications from young classical musicians across the country wishing to appear on its radio and television broadcasts. This contest marks the first time that we will open that audition process to the public, inviting them to help identify their favorite performers. Carnegie Hall, with its deep commitment to programs that nurture young talent and encourage musicians to aspire to excellence, is happy to continue its partnership with From the Top, offering Big Break musicians the opportunity to perform on its popular Family Concert series.

All entries must be received by November 18th at midnight! For more information and the complete rules, go to