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NPR show ‘From The Top’ comes to Chautauqua Institution's Amphitheater

July 25, 2012
Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

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, visit

Fact Box

General information

Morning lectures are held in the Amphitheater weekdays at 10:45 a.m. Afternoon/Interfaith lectures are held in the Hall of Philosophy weekdays at 2 p.m. Afternoon lecture themes coordinate with the themes of the 10:45 a.m. lectures, but take a different angle of vision.

Day tickets are available for purchase at the Main Gate Welcome Center Ticket Office on the day of your visit. Morning tickets grant visitors access to the grounds for $18 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For $12, afternoon tickets grant access from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Combined morning/afternoon passes - 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. - are $30. For additional ticketing information, visit or call 357-6250.

Tickets for Amphitheater performances are $40. On Community Appreciation Nights, ticket prices are reduced to $18 and Family Entertainment Series performances held in Smith Wilkes Hall are free.

For additional ticketing information, visit or call 357-6250.

Chautauqua Institution is a summer community located in southwestern New York State on Chautauqua Lake. It offers a unique mix of fine and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship, educational programs and recreational activities. Each summer the Institution hosts over 2,200 events and 100,000 guests. For more information please visit,

Tickets for the live taping at Chautauqua Institution are $40 and can be purchased by calling 357-6250 or at



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