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.

Throughout November, hear some young musicians from the Philadelphia area performing on From the Top.
On Sunday, November 1, Villanova-based Alyssa Gabrilovich plays two Rachmaninoff etudes in a show recorded in September at New York City’s Kaufman Center.

On Sunday, November 9, Broomall-based violist Peirce Ellis makes his From the Top debut playing Bloch’s rarely heard Suite for Viola in a show recorded in part at Philadelphia’s Turtle Studios.

On Sunday, November 22, listen to a rebroadcast of a show recorded in 2018 at Longwood Gardens, with violinist Faustina Housner of Cherry Hill, NJ, violinist Akili Farrow of Philadelphia and two young musicians from Kennett Square, pianist Angeline Ma and clarinettist Andrew Chang.

On Sunday, November 29, hear a show created earlier this year at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, in which double bassist Braden Ellis, brother of violist Peirce, performs Massenet’s Meditation from Thaïs, recorded at his own home in Broomall.

On Sunday, December 6th hear two more performances recorded at Philadelphia’s Turtle Studios: Exton-based violinist Anagha Kapsi plays Chaconne by Tomaso Antonio Vitali and Central High School senior, flutist Blue Shelton performs music by Pierre Sancan.

More about From the Top


  • Monday, March 1, 2021 5:30pm
    A teenage flutist's playful performance of Carmen Fantasie kicks off this week's program. We also meet a precocious group of young musicians playing the music of Bach, Chopin, and Cahuzac.
  • Monday, February 15, 2021 5:30pm
    A brilliant young trumpeter performs the music of Haydn. He's joined by a 15-year-old cellist performing a classic showpiece, a talented teenage piano duo from Hawaii, and two young musicians with deeply expressive solo performances.
  • Monday, January 25, 2021 5:30pm
    It's our "Where are They Now" show where we find out what alumni of From the Top have been doing lately and hear their fantastic music. We revisit two alums who are part of the award winning Calidore String Quartet, speak to a harpist who's founded her own non-profit and enjoy a thrilling new work for cello.
  • Monday, January 4, 2021 5:30pm
    Two sisters from Hawaii kick off the program with the virtuosic music of Sarasate, we enjoy an expressive performance of Villa-Lobos by a young cellist, a stunning harp-piano duo, and the world premiere of a teenage composer's work for string quartet.
  • Monday, December 14, 2020 5:30pm
    The victorious finale from Stravinsky's Firebird Suite is performed by a teenage pianist. He's joined by a talented 14-year-old performing Beethoven, and a young violinist whose musical roots span two continents.
Courtesy of Peter Dugan

Pianist Peter Dugan was a teenager living in Upper Darby, when, in 2006, he was chosen to perform on From the Top, NPR's nationally syndicated radio program that "showcases the music, stories, and unique humor of America's best young classical musicians."  Now he's the host of the popular program, which is broadcast on over 200 stations across the country, including WRTI.

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.