About Us

Great Kids. Great Music. Listen to the future.

Founded in Boston in 1995 by Gerald Slavet and Jennifer Hurley-Wales, From the Top originated as a variety-style radio show. More than 20 years later, From the Top has grown into a multi-media and arts education powerhouse, transforming the lives of hundreds of young musicians each year, inspiring millions of fans, and pioneering new ways to unite communities around the promise of outstanding young talent. Every year, more than 3 million fans around the globe enjoy From the Top’s radio broadcasts, videos, and live performances.


With an audience of more than 3 million, From the Top is America’s largest national platform dedicated to celebrating the stories, talents, and character of classically-trained young musicians. Through live events, NPR and video broadcasts, scholarships, and arts education programs, we empower these extraordinary young people to engage and inspire music lovers of all ages.

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Our signature radio program, NPR’s From the Top with Host Christopher O’Riley, is the most popular weekly one-hour classical music program on public radio, heard by nearly half a million listeners on more than 200 stations nationwide. You can also download From the Top as a podcast at the link below.

See the Music, our new online music video program, brings together young classically-trained musicians with collaborators from multiple artistic genres and disciplines. Distributed on YouTube and social media, See the Music videos are an innovative way to reach millions of new fans.

National Tour
NPR’s From the Top with Host Christopher O’Riley is recorded before live audiences through a yearly national tour. At each performance, local talent joins with young musicians from all corners of America in an inspiring musical/storytelling celebration.

From the Top and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation award 20 $10,000 scholarships each year to exceptional young musicians with financial need.

Center for the Development of Arts Leaders (CDAL)
CDAL houses all of From the Top’s arts education programs, preparing young musicians to be instruments of positive social change in their communities. In Boston and in conjunction with the national tour of NPR’s From the Top, young musicians explore their individual leadership pathways while planning and delivering programs to diverse audiences – schools, senior centers, hospitals, and museums – reaching thousands of people each year.

Moments of Inspiration
At conferences and corporations across the country, From the Top musicians share their talent and stories in musical moments designed to add a spark of inspiration and creativity to private events.

More than 3,000 young people can claim the status of “From the Top Alum.” Whether soloing with or playing in major orchestras, working as mentors and community leaders, or pushing the boundaries of musical innovation, From the Top alumni are a powerful force for change in America.

In 2007–2008, From the Top produced two seasons of its Emmy Award-winning PBS television series, From the Top: Live at Carnegie Hall, which was praised by teachers and parents as “accessible, educational and entertaining,” with “real kids” and “real value.”


From the Top is an independent non-profit organization. Though our radio show is distributed by NPR, we are not a public radio organization, and receive less than 8% of our revenues from radio carriage fees. Thanks to generous individual, corporate, and foundation support, our media and education programs are offered to our musicians and the general public at no charge. We welcome contributions of all levels; visit our Support page to learn more.


From the Top 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
  • Inspiring and building new audiences with a deeper appreciation for classical music