NPR's FROM THE TOP Podcast Announces Musicians for Center for the Arts Recorded Performance

By: Feb. 10, 2020
NPR's FROM THE TOP Podcast Announces Musicians for Center for the Arts Recorded Performance

From the Top, the nationally-distributed NPR program and podcast that celebrates the voices and talents of America's brightest young classical musicians, will bring its next live recording event to the Center for the Arts on Saturday, February 29 at 8 p.m. Guest hosts Greg Anderson (a From the Top alum himself) and Elizabeth Joy Roe of the acclaimed piano duo Anderson & Roe will interview and perform with each of the exceptional young artists, ages 12 - 18, showcasing not just their inspiring talent, but also giving insight into the lives of these young, aspirational artists.

From the Top is heard Sundays on WETA 90.9 FM at 6 p.m. as well as more than 200 other stations nationwide. From the Top will record two broadcasts during this live event which will air on participating stations and by podcast during the weeks of April 20 and May 11, 2020.

The selected musicians and From the Top staff will also participate in Community Engagement and Arts Leadership sessions at Poe Middle School in Annandale, VA and with the Mason Community Arts Academy. More details below.

Featured performers from the region include:

12-year-old pianist Ella Kim from Herndon, Virginia performing Sonata No. 59 in E-flat Major Hob. XVI/49, III. Finale: Tempo di Minuet by Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)

Supernova Piano Duo, featuring Jialin Tso, 18, from Chantilly, Virginia and Alexander Suh, 16, from Fairfax, Virginia performing "In the Hall of the Mountain King," from Peer Gynt Suite By Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) arranged by Adolf Ruthardt (1849-1934), performed with Anderson & Roe.

15-year-old pianist Kiesse Nanor from Ellicott City, Maryland performing "Widmung" by Robert Schumann (1810-1856) arranged by Franz Liszt (1811-1886)

10-year-old violinist Lira Masuda from Glen Allen, Virginia performing Polonaise de concert, Op.4 by Henri Wieniawski (1835-1880)

Additional performers include:

17-year-old violinist Phillip Hammond from Bloomington, Indiana, recipient of From the Top's Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award, performing "Summerland" from Three Visions by William Grant Still (1895-1978)

17-year-old countertenor Sam Higgins from Milton, Massachusetts performing "Dove sei, amato bene?" from Rodelinda, regina de' Longobardi, HWV 19 by George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)

18-year-old violist Natalie Brennecke from Oberlin, Ohio, recipient of From the Top's Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award, performing Viola Concerto, Op 37, II. Allegro giocoso by Miklós Rózsa (1907-1995)

16-year-old bassoonist Xavion Patterson from Smyrna, Tennessee, recipient of From the Top's Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award, performing Sicilienne et Allegro Giocoso for bassoon and piano by Gabriel Grovlez (1879-1944)

19-year-old cellist Levi Powe from Tuscon, Arizona performing Poema III by Marlos Nobre (b. 1939)

From the Top alumna Olivia Cosio, soprano, originally from San Francisco, California performing "Una voce poco fa," from Il barbiere di Sivigliaby Gioachino Antonio Rossini (1792-1868)

In addition to the live recording event, an essential part of the From the Top experience for each of the young musicians is the opportunity to engage with the greater community. On Friday, February 28, the selected musicians and staff of From the Top will visit Poe Middle School in Annandale, VA, where they will lead two performance-based assemblies for groups of about 300 students each. They will also participate in improv activities and mock interview scenarios with theater students, as well as stage presence and warm up exercises with chorus students. This peer-to-peer contact is integral in the way From the Top hopes to grow and expand these musicians as leaders in the arts.

Saturday, February 29, the musicians and From the Top staff will meet with students of the Mason Community Arts Academy for a lunchtime conversation, providing all of the young musicians opportunities for advice surrounding next steps in their aspiring careers.

Additionally, From the Top staff will lead an Arts Leadership session designed to explore how young musicians can utilize their artistry beyond traditional performance settings; gain a broader perspective on classical music and its larger artistic and societal context; develop a greater understanding of possible career choices; and are introduced to a range of ways to be involved in their communities.

From the Top, distributed by NPR, is the most popular weekly one-hour music program on public radio. Young performers share their passion for classical music through performance and conversation, giving insight into their unique worlds, from musical pursuits to day-in-the-life musings.

Anderson & Roe, Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe, are revolutionizing the piano duo experience for the 21st century. Hailed as "the most dynamic duo of this generation" (San Francisco Classical Voice) and "rock stars of the classical music world" (Miami Herald), the Anderson & Roe Piano Duo has appeared on PBS and MTV, recorded Billboard chart-topping albums, toured worldwide as recitalists and orchestral soloists, and released Emmy-nominated, self-produced music videos viewed by millions. Greg Anderson is an alumnus of From the Top.

From the Top is an independent non-profit organization that supports, develops, and shares the artistic voices and stories of young classically-trained musicians. Through its primary platform, a weekly one-hour NPR radio broadcast, and nationally-recognized arts leadership programs, From the Top amplifies the hope, passion, and discipline of today's extraordinary young musicians. From the Top provides young musicians with live performance opportunities in premier concert venues across the country, national exposure to nearly half a million listeners on its weekly NPR show, leadership and community engagement preparation, and more than $3 million in scholarships since 2005. From the Top's programs are made possible in part by an award from the National Endowment of the Arts, a grant from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, generous contributions from individuals and institutions, and partnerships with radio stations nationwide. Learn more at

The Center for the Arts is the premier destination for the arts in Northern Virginia. Each year, the Center welcomes hundreds of thousands of community members into its 2000-seat Concert Hall. The centerpiece of artistic programming within the Center, Great Performances at Mason, is an annual season of national and international artists, featuring the best of classical music, opera, jazz, global music, dance, theater, and more. As a part of George Mason University's College of Visual and Performing Arts, the Center hosts many student and faculty performances presented by the Schools of Music, Theater, and Dance as well as events for School of Art and the Film and Video Studies, Computer Game Design, and Arts Management programs. Understanding that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the Center for the Arts serves arts enthusiasts of all ages in the greater Washington, D.C. area.

George Mason University is Virginia's largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls 37,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the past half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity and commitment to accessibility.


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