Our Favorite Moments from 2018

With 2018 solidly behind us, we finally had the chance to look back, take stock, and pull out some of our favorite moments from last year. From fantastically fun videos to empowering young musicians to make an impact in their community, 2018 was a year to remember.

1: Two of our music videos were included in WQXR’s “Favorite Internet Moments of 2018”

Leo Manzari (tap dancer, actor, rapper) teams up with 12-year-old pianist Harmony Zhu in this fun reimagining of the fourth movement, Capriccio, from Bach’s Partita No. 2 in C minor BWV 826. Recorded in the James and Martha Duffy Performance Space in the Mark Morris Dance Center.

This collaboration between From the Top young musicians and Time for Three features an arrangement of The Beatles’ “Norwegian Wood” that starts off with an allusion to Chopin’s Ballade No. 2. It was performed live on air on Show 346 in Boston, Massachusetts.

2: NPR’s From the Top’s first-ever guest host: alum Peter Dugan

PC: Gerard Collett

On November 5, 2018, From the Top had its first-ever guest host, pianist and alum Peter Dugan! Peter shared the stage at Longwood Gardens with the program’s cast of young musicians both from the piano and the microphone, and performed a standout tribute to Aretha Franklin and his hometown of Philadelphia in the arrangement below.

To listen to that show, click here.



3: A teenage pianist found a publisher for her novels during a live recording of From the Top in Carnegie Hall!

On Show 338 in New York City back in 2017, From the Top pianist Coco Ma shared her passion for writing with our listeners and described the young adult fantasy novel she was working on at the time. Little did she know, a literary agent with a specialty in young adult fantasy novels happened to be in attendance, listening to Coco’s every note and word!

2018 brought the wonderful news that SHADOW FROST is the first book of a young adult trilogy and will be released October 1 by Blackstone Publishers and Audio!

Click here to read the prologue and the first chapter of SHADOW FROST!

4: The Most Inspiring Letters from our 2017-2018 Season

It means so much to us when audience members, alumni, or partners reach out to share their positive experience with us. Here are some of our favorites.

“One of my biggest takeaways from this experience was how important it is to be a mentor and an inspiration to the younger community who are interested in playing or pursuing music. They inspired me the most, as they showed how, even though they might have never had classical music in their life before they came to this school, they all fell in love with it, and support each other in their growth as musicians.”

Bassist William McGregor
Show 349, Boston, MA

5: Holiday Videos in Partnership with WGBH Boston

In a single day of filming in WGBH’s Fraiser Recording Studio in our hometown of Boston, From the Top musicians recorded four incredible holiday-themed performances.

6: Alumni Leadership Grant Recipients

We were thrilled to announce the selection of three outstanding From the Top alumni as recipients of the 2018 Alumni Leadership Grant:

  • 19-year-old violinist Corinne Auger, whose free summer program Music Lens partners with underrepresented communities to introduce elementary school students to classical music.
  • 21-year-old violinist Ariel Horowitz, founder of the Heartbeat Project, an initiative that offers a math-infused introduction to classical music presented in a respectful dialogue with traditional Navajo music.
  • 21-year-old baritone Thomas West, member of the Collaborative Arts Ensemble that create and share a story that speaks to a time in history, a social justice issue, or a question unique to the local community.

The Alumni Leadership Grant, which began in 2017, seeks to support alumni of From the Top’s media and arts leadership programs who have created projects using music and the arts to impact their local communities.

Learn more about the grant.

7: We teamed up with the Boston University Tanglewood Institute Young Artist Orchestra for a magical “Rite of Spring” video

Filmed in the magical landscape surrounding the institute, members of the ensemble braved the heat, the threat of rain, and armies of bugs to create this gorgeous music video.


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