CHAUTAUQUA - National Public Radio (NPR) show, "From the Top" with host Christopher O'Riley, will tape live from the Amphitheater at Chautauqua Institution on Friday, July 20, at 8:15 p.m. The show, which features young musicians, will include two Chautauqua students.
"From the Top" is the showcase for young musicians heard weekly on Classical 94.5/WNED Buffalo. The popular NPR program, hosted by acclaimed pianist Christopher O'Riley will feature the performances and personal stories of young classical musicians from across the country.
The broadcast taping will feature two Chautauqua students, Laura Park and Alexandra "Allie" Switala. Park is an 18-year-old violinist from Des Plaines, Ill., who studies with Almita Vamos at Chautauqua. She has previously appeared on "From the Top" as a member of the Fischoff Award-winning Aurelia String Quartet, and will perform the Waltz-Scherzo, Op.34 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky during the taping. Switala is an 18-year-old violinist from Grapevine, Texas, who is studying with Roland and Almita Vamos at Chautauqua. Along with Franz Zhao, 17-year-old composer and pianist from San Francisco, California, for the broadcast she will play "Ideas," a duet for violin and piano that was written by Franz.
Also on the broadcast will be Emily Helenbrook, an 18-year-old soprano from Alexander, singing "O luce di quest'anima" from the opera "Linda di Chamounix" by Gaetano Donizetti; Xavier Jara, an 18-year-old guitar player from Arlington, Minn.; and Ho Joon Kim, a 13-year-old pianist from Los Angeles, Calif.
The episode recorded in the Amphitheater at Chautauqua Institution will air nationally the week of Oct. 22 and on Classical 94.5 in Buffalo on Oct. 27 at 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. For broadcast information for other cities, please visit FromtheTop.org
Tickets for the live taping at Chautauqua Institution are $40 and can be purchased by calling 357-6250 or at www.chqtickets.com
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 more than 700,000 listeners each week, "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." From the Top launched its Emmy Award winning PBS television series "From the Top" at Carnegie Hall in 2007.
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, through From the Top's Center for the Development of Arts Leaders, the Boston-based nonprofit 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 $1.6 million in support for pre-college students since 2005.
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 support from U.S. Trust. It is also supported through the contributions of individuals and institutions as well as public radio stations. From the Top is an independent nonprofit organization headquartered in Boston. From the Top's founding partners are New England Conservatory and WGBH. Learn more at www.fromthetop.org.