On the Road with Joanne Robinson: Show 207 Stanford, CA

Hi all! I just returned home from Silicon Valley and the beautiful campus of Stanford University, where we taped a great show this weekend. We had the pleasure of being joined via phone by a very special guest –puzzle master extraordinaire Will Shortz! As a huge fan of the New York Times Sunday Crossword, I have to admit I was giddy with excitement. He joined us to give an original word quiz to a talented young violinist /puzzle aficionado, who was featured on the show.

Evan Premo and Mary Bonhag on From the Top.

We also reconnected with another 10th Anniversary Alum, double bassist and composer Evan Premo, who was originally on our program back in 2002, when he was 17. Now a happily married 24-year-old, Evan divides his time between Manhattan, where he is a fellow of the Weill Institute at Carnegie Hall, and the Hudson Valley, where his wife, Mary, is getting her Masters in Vocal Performance at Bard.

Evan and Mary performed two beautiful pieces together and told the amazing story of how they met. To give you the lowdown, they basically struck up a conversation on a bus, and when Evan told Mary he was a double bassist and that he liked to go ice fishing, Mary felt like she already knew him. Well it turned out that she had heard him on From the Top a year and half earlier! Little did she know then that this memorable bassist would one day be her husband. Of course, we here at From the Top take full credit.

Also on the show, a vivacious young cellist played one of my favorite pieces, “Julie-O” by Mark Summer, a talented pianist went head to head with Chris O’Riley to determine the pieces best suited for releasing aggression, and the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra, 30-teenagers strong, closed the show with a beautiful Corelli piece.

This program will broadcast the week of March 1, so mark your calendars! But here’s a preview to tide you over.

— Joanne