On the Air This Week | A Beethoven Sonata, Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite & More

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 paints a picturesque image of her life in Vermont.

14-year-old pianist Andrew Gu from Milton, MA kicks off the program with a firecracker performance of Sonata No. 7 in D Major, Op. No. 3, Mvmt 1 by Beethoven (a fitting performance for Beethoven’s birthday week!). He discusses his affinity for facts and figures, and expensive sneakers with host Peter Dugan.

Violinist Sarah Ma, 17, from Garden City, NY gives a moving and impassioned performance of Romance by Amy Beach. Then, she speaks with Peter Dugan about her passion for creating political dialogue through her popular YouTube channel and TikTok account.

16-year-old saxophonist Jayme Billings, hails from Underhill, VT and gives her home state a lot of love in her interview segment. She beautifully performs Scaramouche, II. Modere & III. Brazileira by Darius Milhaude.

Violinist Vibha Janakiraman, 15, from West Chester, PA performs Darshan by Reena Esmail, a piece that evokes Vibha’s cultural heritage. She chats with Peter Dugan about how her family is immersed in Indian classical music.

Pianist Joshua Mhoon, 17, from Chicago, IL closes the program with a breathtaking piano arrangement of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite Finale, arranged by Guido Agosti. He describes how his father toured as a drummer with the Staples Singers and has been passing down his knowledge of the music industry. Joshua also reflects on what it’s like to be a black classical musician today and his hopes for the future.

Special thanks to Q Division Studios in Somerville, MA and Kaufman Music Center in New York, NY for hosting our in-person portions of this week’s show. Thanks also to our remote locations PianoForte in Chicago, IL and Turtle Studios in Philadelphia, PA.

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