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NPR’s “From the Top” seeks local talent

For Immediate Release: July 6, 2015


Live taping of hit show with host Christopher O’Riley
Pre-college-age classical musicians wanted to play with RPO
Young composers also invited to apply for premiere performance


Rochester, NY – As announced in February, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO)’s 2015/16 season will include a live taping of From the Top Live with Host Christopher O’Riley on Sunday, January 17 at 3 p.m. in Kodak Hall, led by RPO Music Director Ward Stare. The hit NPR radio program showcasing America’s best young classical musicians is seeking local talent for that live show recording. The weekly hour-long radio program is heard on WXXI’s Classical 91.5 on Sundays at 5 p.m., as well as nearly 220 other stations nationwide.

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. From the Top and the RPO are looking to give the world premiere performance of a young composer’s piece at January’s concert/taping. In addition to seeking talent for its upcoming live concert in Rochester, the program seeks young musicians and composers 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 recording, 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 have 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.

From the Top is America’s largest national platform celebrating the stories, talents, and character of classically-trained young musicians. Through live events, NPR and YouTube broadcasts, scholarships, and leadership programs, From the Top empowers these extraordinary young people to engage and inspire music lovers of all ages.

Broadcast on more than 220 stations nationwide to an audience of nearly 700,000 listeners, NPR’s From the Top with Host Christopher O’Riley 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.” From the Top’s PBS television series From the Top at Carnegie Hall (2007–2009) won two daytime Emmy Awards, and From the Top’s YouTube channel offers videos and behind-the-scenes insights.

Now in its 15th year, From the Top’s live recordings reach more than 20,000 live audience members of all ages across the United States each year. In conjunction with its national tour, From the Top’s Education & Outreach department offers leadership training to young artists and conducts classroom and community programs leveraging the power of its performers as role models for younger students.

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. From the Top is a non-profit organization proudly based in Boston’s vibrant cultural district. Learn more at

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra has been committed to enriching and inspiring our community through the art of music since its founding in 1922. The RPO presents approximately 150 concerts and broadcasts a year, serving up to 170,000 people through ticketed events, education and community engagement activities, and concerts in schools and community centers throughout the region. Recently appointed 12th Music Director Ward Stare joins the ranks of former notable RPO music directors, including Eugene Goossens, José Iturbi, Erich Leinsdorf, David Zinman and Conductor Laureate Christopher Seaman. Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik has earned a national reputation for excellence in pops programming during his 20-year tenure with the RPO. With Michael Butterman as Principal Conductor for Education and Community Engagement (The Louise and Henry Epstein Family Chair)—the first position of its kind in the country—the RPO reaches more than 12,000 children through its specific programs for school-aged children