From the Top

Sunday, 3 to 4 pm

NPR's From the Top showcases the music, stories, and unique humor of America's best young classical musicians, in which they demonstrate their prodigious ability and reveal details of their non-musical lives, from sibling secrets to favorite foods.

Meet Host Peter Dugan! He grew up in Upper Darby, went to St Joe's Prep here in Philly and then studied at Juilliard in NYC where he lives now.

From picturesque Longwood Gardens outside Philadelphia in September 2018, From the Top featured an exciting array of young talent – including a young violinist who got her start in the El Sistema-inspired music program, Play-On Philly. Three of these musicians are from our region!  Listen here.

More about From the Top


  • Monday, September 14, 2020 5:30pm
    Host Peter Dugan takes us on a trip down memory lane to enjoy some of the most outstanding music and memorable interviews from the past couple of seasons. We'll meet a teenage violinist who has grown up off the grid in rural Indiana, a young pianist from Georgia performs a beautifully impressionistic work for solo piano by Alexandre Tansman, and a 12-year-old cellist performs the music of David Popper and then solves a Rubik's Cube, live, on-stage in under 19 seconds.
  • Monday, September 7, 2020 5:30pm
    Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe, the pianists who make up the popular piano duo, "Anderson and Roe" guest host the second of two episodes recorded in Fairfax, Virginia. Greg and Elizabeth collaborate with young performers on the program including a rather philosophical 17-year-old violinist from Indiana and an extraordinary counter tenor from Massachusetts tells us how he realized he was a counter tenor and performs music by Handel.
  • Monday, June 22, 2020 5:00pm
    Featuring interviews with From the Top alumni and music they're making in their early professional careers, this program features an alum pianist who has released an album to raise money for the people of Flint, Michigan, the alum winner of last year's Queen Elizabeth Competition and an alum baritone who just won his first Grammy.
  • Monday, June 1, 2020 5:00pm
    Hosted by pianist Peter Dugan this is From the Top's second "Blanket Fort" show. Created during the quarantine of the Covid19 crisis, this episode features young musicians recording themselves in their own homes (in makeshift studios or "Blanket Forts") under From the Top's supervision and it features long distance musical collaborations. Performers include one of the youngest classical guitarists From the Top has ever featured and a teenage composer who discovered his love for music during a difficult time when his immigrant family had no permanent home.
  • Monday, May 4, 2020 5:00pm
    Pianist and From the Top host, Peter Dugan, performs his own piano arrangement of the "Jupiter" movement from "The Planets" by Gustav Holst.
Courtesy of the artist

Listen to part two of our special live performances by regional winners of the second annual Steinway Junior Piano Competition.

Kwaya Marimba

Six years in, Kwaya Marimba at Friends School Haverford continues to impress. The student ensemble has performed concerts at local venues including The Barnes Museum, The Please Touch Museum, and The Philadelphia Zoo. Ten students along with their ten marimbas and their teacher Ed Nardi join Jazz Host J. Michael Harrison in the WRTI Performance Studio on YouTube on Thursday, April 4th at 1 PM for a presentation.

What role does music play in our national dialogue about immigration? Six young musicians, rooted in six different countries, gathered at Ellis Island, and in Manhattan, to explore that question in a new composition inspired by Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land."

Whether it's warranted or not, classical music wonks are perennially worried about the next generation of fans.

It seems there's less need to fret when you hear cellist Matt Haimovitz and pianist Christopher O'Riley. Some 15 years ago, they were already chipping away at the barriers — both real and perceived — between classical and pop.

From Philadelphia to The Top!

Nov 10, 2014

The nationally syndicated public radio program From the Top features gifted young classical musicians from all over the country. They’re always super talented - and often very amusing as they chat with host Christopher O'Riley - which all adds up to great radio. More than 250 public radio stations broadcast the show.

Carnegie Hall's Barnstorming Youth Movement

Jul 17, 2013

This is the kind of opportunity most classical musicians can only dream about: to be invited to spend part of the summer with an orchestra touring the world — Washington, Moscow, St. Petersburg and London — with two of the biggest names in classical music, conductor Valery Gergiev and violinist Joshua Bell.

Bach, Beatboxed

Dec 3, 2012

Gunther Schuller, the great American composer, conductor, author, music educator, jazz innovator, and French horn player, is the special guest artist on From the Top this week.