Frequently Asked Questions About From the Top’s New Hosting Team

Has a new host been named for From the Top and who is it?

From the Top has named pianist Peter Dugan as host of its nationally-distributed NPR radio program, beginning with the 2020-2021 season. Peter has a long history with From the Top (FTT), being an FTT alumnus, first appearing as a musician on the program in 2007 at the age of 18. Since the 2018-19 season, Peter has served as a guest host on nine From the Top episodes.

How long will Peter be the host of FTT? Can we expect another change of host sometime in the near future?

Peter’s role as host is considered permanent and no further changes are expected.

When will I hear the new host on air?

As FTT enters a new era, with a new host, the show is prioritizing Peter Dugan on future broadcasts. This maximizes opportunities for listeners to become even more familiar with the voice and personality now at the heart of FTT. Early on, you will hear Peter as host for six consecutive weeks, from February to mid-March 2020, and then in roughly 70% of the programs through the end of the year. Starting in his inaugural season, 2020-21 and moving forward, Peter will host 80% of all new programs.

What is the team of co-hosts and creatives, who is part of it and when will I hear them on air?

FTT’s team of co-hosts and creatives consists of five world-class artists – violinist and social justice advocate Vijay Gupta, violinist Tessa Lark, clarinetist Alex Laing, pianist Orli Shaham, and violinist Charles Yang – each of whom has an innovative perspective on music-making, entrepreneurship, and the role of the artist in society.

Vijay Gupta, Tessa Lark, Alex Laing and Charles Yang will be featured on-air as co-hosts with Peter Dugan, and Orli Shaham will solo guest host. All will interview and collaborate with the From the Top young musicians. All will also serve as mentors to the From the Top musicians, and will be actively involved in leadership training, community engagement, and career development programs. As strategic and collaborative partners, their insight and experience will help to inform future development of From the Top.

Is the team of co-hosts & creatives also permanent?

The team of co-hosts & creatives is not designed to be permanent, and will evolve over time to allow additional musicians to collaborate with From the Top, and also allow From the Top’s young musicians to gain insight from artists with wide-ranging experiences and perspectives.

A number of guest hosts have appeared on FTT throughout 2019. Will I continue to hear them?

Over the last year, FTT featured a series of guest hosts on the show. These guest hosts have been well-known classical musicians and artists from other disciplines, as well as a mix of FTT alumni who have notable careers. The shows recorded with these guest hosts will continue to be heard on air occasionally, in repeat broadcasts, over the course of the coming year or so.

Will the former host Christopher O’Riley continue to be heard on From the Top?

After 20 years on the air, FTT is now poised for a new era, led by new host, Peter Dugan. As FTT turns the page, Peter’s presence on the show is paramount. As a result, former host Christopher O’Riley is being phased out on-air the week of January 20, 2020. FTT’s archive of past shows, including those hosted by O’Riley and all our previous guest hosts, will continue to be available at

How does From the Top get created?

A team of producers and staff makes the show each week (the leadership and talent of that team which has worked together for over 20 years, remain intact). These are the people who audition and select musicians, do extensive pre-interviews with the young guests, write, record, and edit the show, work with radio and presenting partners, and fundraise to support the radio show and From the Top’s arts education programs.

Who makes decisions for From the Top?

From the Top is produced by a national non-profit organization (also called From the Top) based in Boston, with an independent Board of Directors and led by Executive Director Gretchen Nielsen.