Lawrence Gilliard Jr. and Charles Yang Join From the Top as additional Guest Hosts for 2018–2019 National Tour

Live recordings of popular NPR classical music show will feature a variety of hosts, co-hosts, and guest artists

Boston, Massachusetts (October 30, 2018)– From the Top, the nationwide program distributed by NPR that showcases young classical musicians, is very pleased to announce that actor Lawrence Gilliard Jr. (The Wire, The Walking Dead, The Deuce) and violin virtuoso Charles Yang will guest host live concert recordings during the 2018–2019 season. Yang, who was recently awarded the 2018 Leonard Bernstein Award, will guest host with pianist Peter Dugan on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek, CO; and Gilliard will guest host on Sunday, February 3, 2019 at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall in Boston, MA, a special program of inspiring stories and performances to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Walnut Hill School for the Arts.

Event details:

NPR’s From the Top, hosted by Charles Yang with pianist Peter Dugan | Wednesday, January 16, 2019 at 7:00 PM | Vilar Performing Arts Center, Beaver Creek, Colorado | Tickets and information | Airs week of February 18, 2019

NPR’s From the Top, hosted by Lawrence Gilliard Jr. | Sunday, February 3, 2019 at 2:00 PM | New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall, Boston, Massachusetts | Tickets and information | Airs week of March 11, 2019

From The Top’s 2018-2019 season begins a new chapter in the program’s history. A lineup of renowned artists will host, co-host or appear as special guests on live recordings throughout the season, many of whom are FTT alumni, and who have diverse backgrounds and musical perspectives. Please visit for the complete 2018–2019 From the Top season.

Artist bios:

Charles Yang, recipient of the 2018 Leonard Bernstein Award has been described by the Boston Globe as one who “plays classical violin with the charisma of a rock star.” A graduate from the Juilliard School, Mr. Yang began his violin studies with his mother in Austin, Texas, and has since studied with world-renowned pedagogues Kurt Sassmanshaus, Paul Kantor, Brian Lewis and Glenn Dicterow. He first appeared on From the Top as a 14 year-old and has been featured on radio, PBS’ “From the Top at Carnegie Hall” and numerous other From the Top projects ever since.   He has performed as a soloist with orchestras and in recitals in the United States, Europe, Brazil, Russia, China, and Taiwan, and is the recipient of numerous awards and honors. On June 9th of 2005, the Mayor of Austin presented Mr. Yang with his own “Charles Yang Day.” He is the newest member of the genre-defying trio, Time for Three.


03 October 2013 – Universal City, California – Lawrence Gilliard Jr.. “The Walking Dead” 4th Season Premiere held at the AMC Universal Citywalk Stadium 19 Theatre. Photo Credit: Byron Purvis/AdMedi

A trained actor for the stage and screen, Lawrence Gilliard Jr. is most recognized for playing the infamous series regular role of ‘D’Angelo Barksdale’ on HBO’s critically acclaimed series The Wire as well as the series regular role of ‘Bob Stookey’ on AMC’s hit drama The Walking Dead. He also starred on The Beast for A&E and appeared on many hit shows including: CSI: NY, Law & Order, Numb3rs, Friday Night Lights, Southland, Army Wives, Longmire, Graceland, Elementary, and The Good Wife. Lawrence has an extensive history of New York theater credits. His past stage work includes such plays as Zooman And The Sign at Second Stage, Police Boys at Playwrights Horizons, and Life During Wartime at the Nuyorican Poets Café, with regional appearances in Top Dog/Underdog at the Seattle Rep and the Mark Taper Forum in LA. Gilliard has studied at the prestigious Juilliard School, The Stella Adler Conservatory, The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, The Acting Studio, and The Baltimore School for the Arts. Lawrence has also appeared in many films since his breakout performance in the independent film Straight Out Of Brooklyn. Since then, he has appeared in such versatile films as Martin Scorsese’s Gangs Of New York, The Machinist opposite Christian Bale, and The Water Boy opposite Adam Sandler. He is currently starring as a series regular on HBO’s David Simon series The Deuce, opposite James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal

Pianist Peter Dugan appeared on From the Top in 2007 at the age of 18. Over the last 11 years, he’s appeared as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician across North America and abroad. Equally at home in classical, jazz, and pop idioms, Peter has performed in duos and trios with artists ranging from Itzhak Perlman and Joshua Bell to Jesse Colin Young and Glenn Close. His debut last year with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony was described by the Los Angeles Times as “stunning.” He is a founding creator and the pianist for Operation Superpower, a superhero opera program for children.

About From the Top

From the Top is America’s largest national platform celebrating the stories, talents, and character of classically-trained young musicians. Through live events, NPR and YouTube broadcasts, scholarships, and leadership programs, From the Top empowers these extraordinary young people to engage and inspire music lovers of all ages.

Broadcast on more than 220 stations nationwide to an audience of nearly half a million listeners, From the Top is the most popular weekly one-hour music program on public radio. Young performers share their passion for classical music, and share stories about their lives, from career goals and family, to hidden talents, school, and community life.

From the Top’s radio program is made possible through grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. It is also supported through the generous contributions of individuals and institutions as well as public radio stations. From the Top is an independent non-profit organization proudly based in Boston’s vibrant cultural district. Learn more at

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