Thursday, May 8, 2014

NPR’s Hit Show 'From The Top' Seeks Pre-College-Age Classical Musicians in Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. - From the Top with host Christopher O’Riley, the hit NPR radio program showcasing America’s best young classical musicians, is seeking local talent for its live show recording on October 24, 2014, at GW Lisner Auditorium [George Washington University]. The weekly hour-long radio program is heard on Sundays at 6:00 p.m. on Classical WETA 90.9FM as well as on more than 250 other stations nationwide. The show will be presented by Washington Performing Arts.

From the Top welcomes audition entries from young classical musicians, ages 8 to 18, who have not graduated from high school. Solo performers on all instruments, composers and vocalists, as well as instrumental or vocal ensembles are welcome.  In addition to seeking talent for its upcoming live concert in GW Lisner Auditorium,  the program seeks young musicians for other concerts that are part of its national tour on a rolling admissions basis.

From the Top’s variety show format features serious musical performances and lively interviews with some of the country’s best pre-collegiate performers. This unique blend of music, talk and humor draws nearly 700,000 loyal listeners. It is an essential part of From the Top’s mission to take musicians out of the concert hall and into the community. In conjunction with every live taping, From the Top’s education and outreach programs offer valuable support and resources for young musicians as they prepare for multi-faceted careers in the arts, inspire and build new audiences for classical music, and use their talents to make a difference in the lives of others.

Of the more than 100 musicians chosen to appear on the radio program every year, approximately 20 will receive Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Awards in support of furthering their musical education. These up to $10,000 scholarships are given to deserving young classical musicians between the ages of 8-18 who have high levels of artistic achievement, demonstrated financial need, and a solid academic record.

Application and scholarship information is available online at Applications and recorded auditions are accepted continuously and on a rolling admissions basis.


What began as a radio experiment in 2000 quickly became one of the fastest growing and most popular weekly classical music programs on public radio. Broadcast on nearly 250 stations nationwide to an audience of nearly 700,000 listeners, From the Top has been described by the Boston Globe as, "an entertaining, accessible, and inspirational mix of outstanding musical performances, informal interviews, skits, and games, the show is a celebration of extraordinary musicians who happen to be teenagers leading fairly normal lives."

Annually, From the Top's live tapings reach more than 20,000 live audience members of all ages across the United States. In conjunction with its national tour, the Boston-based non-profit offers leadership training to young artists and conducts classroom and community programs leveraging the power of its performers as role models for younger students. In addition, From the Top and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation award $10,000 scholarships to high achieving musicians with limited financial means. The program has invested more than $1.8 million in support for pre-college students since 2005. From the Top launched its Emmy Award winning PBS television series From the Top at Carnegie Hall in 2007.

From the Top is an independent non-profit organization headquartered in Boston that celebrates the power of music in the hands of extraordinary young people: unleashing the potential of young musicians as leaders in the arts; trumpeting the role of music to impact and enrich lives; and inspiring and building new audiences with a deeper appreciation for classical music.

From the Top's radio program is made possible through grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, and corporate underwriting from U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management. It is also supported through the generous contributions of individuals and institutions as well as public radio stations.  From the Top’s founding partners are New England Conservatory and WGBH. Learn more at

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