About Us

Great Kids. Great Music. Hope for 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.


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.

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 more than half a million listeners in more than 220 markets. We record our radio show before live audiences across the country, uniting communities around the joy and promise of great young talent. We have recorded more than 290 radio broadcasts in America’s premier concert halls – reaching more than 200,000 live audience members in 141 U.S. cities and 2 international cities.

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.”

Our YouTube channel features more than 140 video of young musicians performing and using music to give back to their communities.

From the Top and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation award 20 $10,000 scholarships each year to exceptional young musicians with financial need. In 2014, we celebrate the awarding of more than $2 million in scholarships.

Every From the Top young musician learns to take music beyond the concert hall, working with our Education and Outreach team to develop the skills needed to reach new audiences and creative positive change through music.

In Boston, our Center for the Development of Arts Leaders (CDAL) is the first center of its kind focusing on developing and training Greater Boston’s young musicians as performers, teachers, and leaders. CDAL recruits 40-50 members to work with educational and social service organizations, sharing the power of music with more than 2,000 residents of our home community.

With an alumni network of more than 3,000 extraordinary young musicians, we foster the connections and collaborations that will lead to new audiences and enthusiasm for classical music.


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 the public free of 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