Presented by the Carnegie Hall Royal Conservatory Achievement Program in partnership with From the Top

Performance Tuesday, March 27, 2012 | 7:30 PM

From the Top: The Achievers

Zankel Hall
Enjoy a live taping of NPR's popular radio show From the Top with host Christopher O'Riley, presented in partnership with the Carnegie Hall Royal Conservatory Achievement Program. From the Top: The Achievers will feature inspiring stories and performances by young musicians from across the country who will experience the special honor of performing in Zankel Hall. This entertaining concert will be recorded for future broadcast and heard by radio audiences nationwide.


  • Christopher O'Riley, Host
  • Lapis Quartet
    ·· Manami Mizumoto, Violin
    ·· Xingyuan Xu, Viola
    ·· Xinchi Wang, Cello
    ·· Yuchong Wu, Piano
  • Madison Vest, Violin
  • Ashwin Krishna, Guitar
  • Karen Baumgartner, Flute
  • Quinn Gomez, Piano


  • BRAHMS Rondo alla Zingarese from Piano Quartet No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 25
  • FRANZ WAXMAN Carmen Fantasie
  • ANDREW YORK Sunburst
  • BOZZA Image
  • DAVID MCINTYRE Butterflies and Bobcats


  • Christopher O'Riley

    Christopher O'Riley has redefined the possibilities of classical music through media, contemporary music, and innovative programming. In addition to hosting From the Top radio and television programs and appearing with top orchestras and festivals worldwide, Mr. O'Riley is also an interpreter of some of the most important contemporary popular music of our time. He has performed two-piano arrangements of Astor Piazzolla's tangos with Argentinian pianist Pablo Ziegler and collaborated with choreographer Martha Clarke in a work that sets the staged stories of Anton Chekhov to the piano works of Alexander Scriabin. He has recorded two discs of his own arrangements of Radiohead songs, as well as a disc of songs by Nick Drake and a tribute to Elliott Smith. In 2009, he drew from the works of Nirvana, REM, Radiohead, Pink Floyd, Tori Amos, The Smiths, Cocteau Twins, and Portishead in the record Out of My Hands. This year, Mr. O'Riley teamed up with cellist Matt Haimovitz on Shuffle.Play.Listen., a collaboration that plumbs the virtuosic possibilities of their instruments and blurs the boundaries between classical and pop music. Mr. O'Riley has been honored with many awards at the Leeds, Van Cliburn, Busoni, and Montreal competitions; he is also a recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant. He is a graduate of the New England Conservatory in Boston.

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  • Lapis Quartet

    The New York-based Lapis Quartet comprises students from the Juilliard Pre-College Division: 17-year-old violinist Manami Mizumoto, 19-year-old violist Xingyuan Xu, 18-year-old cellist Xinchi Wang, and 16-year-old pianist Yuchong Wu. The quartet is coached by Constance Moore and recently performed at the Juilliard ChamberFest as the only group from the Juilliard Pre-College Division.

  • Madison Vest

    Madison Vest hails from Earlysville, Virginia, and attends Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Natick, Massachusetts. She studies with Miriam Fried and performs with New England Conservatory's Youth Philharmonic Orchestra. The 17-year-old violinist has participated in the Aspen Music Festival, Summit Music Festival, and the Strings International Music Festival. In her free time, Madi enjoys sports and is very committed to her schoolwork.

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  • Ashwin Krishna

    Guitarist Ashwin Krishna is from Los Altos, California, and attends Egan Junior High School. He studies with Scott Cmiel at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. At age 14, Ashwin has won second place for the past two years in the Guitar Foundation of America's Junior Division Competition. He has also won top prizes from the Pacific Musical Society and the Menuhin-Dowling Competition. Aside from guitar, Ashwin enjoys scouting, running track, and playing soccer.

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  • Karen Baumgartner

    Karen Baumgartner hails from Roseville, Minnesota, and is home schooled. The 18-year-old flutist has been selected as a recipient of From the Top's Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award. She studies with Michele Frisch and is a member of the Minnesota Youth Symphonies. Karen also plays in her church orchestra and in a few flute choirs. She loves being involved in her church's youth group and playing volleyball.

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  • Quinn Gomez

    Eighteen-year-old pianist Quinn Gomez is originally from Calgary, Alberta, in Canada and now attends the Cleveland Institute of Music. Quinn is a gold medal-winner in his division at The Royal Conservatory of Music. He has participated in the International Institute for Young Musicians Summer Music Academy as well as Mount Royal University's Academy Program for Gifted Youth. Beyond his piano studies, Quinn enjoys admiring nature, studying psychology and religion, and composing.

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At a Glance

The works featured on this program are all technically daunting studies. From the Gypsy fiddling of Brahms’s Rondo alla Zingarese to the wild Butterflies and Bobcats by Canadian composer David McIntyre, each of the composers on the program tackle the unique challenges of writing for strings, piano, guitar, and flute. The young musicians who play these pieces are among the most gifted of the next generation. Performing these virtuosic works not only allows them to take their technical prowess to the next level, but also inspires them to be communicative and expressive musicians.  
Program Notes