Category: Behind the Scenes

  • Be Our Guest!
    Aug 21, 2023

    This season, From the Top is recording in studios around the country, and we are giving some lucky fans access to watch the process in action! If you are in New York, Boston, Austin, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia, please register here for your chance to access a guest pass and attend an exclusive behind-the-scenes […]

  • As we complete our 2022-2023 season of learning, we wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the 87  young musicians who completed From the Top’s Learning and Media Lab Fellowship. Each Fellow… Completed seven online learning sessions focusing on community engagement, artist life, and content creation/recording! Completed a community engagement project such as a virtual […]

  • Meet the Radio Team
    Oct 12, 2022

    Meet the people behind From the Top’s weekly NPR radio show! Megan Swan, Director of Production Operations and Programming, joined From the Top as Music Director in 2019. Megan has enjoyed tenure as a creative producer, artistic programmer, educator, and musician having held positions in Strategic Initiatives, Artistic Programming, and Operations with the LA Phil/Hollywood […]

  • As one of the first members of From the Top’s creative team, Timothy Banker has been instrumental to From the Top’s success as a nationally syndicated radio program for 22 years. We salute him on an incredible two decades with From the Top as he moves on to pursue new opportunities. From the Top: You […]

  • NEW EPISODE CELEBRATES YOUNG BLACK MUSICIANS AND WORKS BY BLACK COMPOSERS Three-time Grammy® Award-winning artist Kevin Olusola joins Host/Pianist Peter Dugan and young Black musicians from across the country for a special Juneteenth-themed episode of the From the Top. Black teenage classical musicians share stories and performances, reflect on Juneteenth, what it means to them, […]

  • Young Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and musicians of Asian descent have shared so much beauty with the listeners of From the Top over the last 20 years. They are core to the story-telling and spectacular performances that have come to define From the Top. In this time of growing anti-Asian sentiment and violence in the […]

  • On this week’s broadcast of From the Top, the victorious finale from Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite is performed by a teenage pianist from Chicago. He’s joined by a teenage violinist using YouTube to provoke political dialogue, a talented 14-year-old pianist performing Beethoven, a young violinist whose musical roots spans two continents, and a 16-year-old saxophonist who […]

  • On this week’s From the Top, one of the strongest teenage piano trios in the country performs Beethoven with passion and precision. They are joined by a young vocalist performing Shakespeare, an 18-year-old cellist with a special relationship with his grandfather, a hard-working flutist with a unique sense of style, and a 15-year-old violinist who […]

  • The charismatic violinist Charles Yang, member of the genre bending trio “Time for Three”, returns to From the Top this week to join Host Peter Dugan in collaborating with our young performers. He performs the music of Shostakovich with a teenager from Philadelphia and leaps into a quartet to perform the composition of an imaginative […]

  • As we all take a deep breath today, I thought I’d share some music to help us get through whatever lies ahead. Music can be a soothing balm or an ecstatic outburst of joy; and in the hands of our young musicians, great music-making is always a source of hope and inspiration. I encourage you […]

  • This week, guest host Orli Shaham returns for another new episode, enjoying the moving experience of performing live chamber music for the first time during the pandemic. The program, recorded partly on stage at Merkin Hall at the Kaufman Music Center in New York, features a wonderful group of young people, like a young violist, […]

  • Our host Peter Dugan catches up with WRTI’s Susan Lewis about being host of From the Top, balancing a diverse career, and life since Covid-19 in this episode of TIME IN.

  • This week’s episode of From the Top marks the kick-off to our 2020-2021 radio season. It’s not easy producing radio with kids from across the country during a pandemic, but our faithful producers have found a way! This week’s amazing young musicians join guest host Orli Shaham for a unique show – some recorded virtually […]

  • The “lazy days of summer” is not an expression that applies to From the Top’s industrious alumni who are accomplishing a lot during these hot months. From benefit concerts to providing virtual access to music and arts education, our network is BUSY, and we have a lot to report in today’s update. As a reminder, […]

  • This week on From the Top’s podcast, we have a special performance of Peter Dugan’s own arrangement of Holst’s “Jupiter: The Bringer of Jollity” from The Planets, recorded at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s Calderwood Hall on February 6, 2020. From the Top · BONUS TRACK: Host Peter Dugan performs his arrangement of “Jupiter” If […]

  • What connects skateboarding and Paganini Violin Caprices? For Phillip Hammond, 17 year-old violinist from Bloomington, Indiana and a recipient of From the Top’s Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award, it’s all about taking risks. Being able to pull off these techniques, whether on a skateboard or on a violin, requires him to be committed and […]

  • This week’s show is the re-broadcast of Show 364 taped in Beaver Creek, Colorado last January 2019. We asked the show performers for their favorite memories of recording with co-hosts Charles Yang and Peter Dugan at the beautiful Vilar Performing Arts Center. Flutist Scott Quirk from Los Angeles kicks things off with his reflections and […]

  • Helen Bryant was one of the performers on this week’s show, recorded at the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum in Atlanta, GA. Recently, she reflected on the powerful experience she had connected with this show and shared a recording of one her favorite works – the fifth movement of Robert Schumann’s Fantasiestücke, Op.12, “In der […]

  • 13-year-old Harpist Olivia Lee is one of the outstanding young artists featured on this week’s From the Top episode from Boston, Massachusetts. All of the performers on this show participated in a four-day residency where they used their artistry to connect with the community. Here, Olivia reflects on that powerful experience: A few years ago […]

  • Reflections on this week’s podcast from Announcer Joanne Robinson: Over my nearly twenty years as From the Top’s announcer, I’ve had the good fortune to continually have the best seat in the house. From my perch onstage, just to left of the performance area next to our towering “On the Air” sign, I’ve gotten to […]