‘From the Top’ Names New Co-hosts with CCM Connection

Two CCM-affiliated musicians will join the team of NPR’s popular classical music program From the Top as co-hosts and creatives. Congrats to violinists Tessa Lark and Charles Yang, who both took lessons with CCM Professor of Violin Kurt Sassmannshaus!

Tessa LarkLark from Richmond, Kentucky, participated in Sassmannshaus’ Starling Preparatory String Project at CCM. Since then, Lark has attended the New England Conservatory and the Juilliard School. She has been awarded a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship and an Avery Fisher Career Grant. Lark was the winner of the 2012 Naumburg International Violin Competition and the silver medalist at the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis.

Charles YangYang also studied violin with Sassmannshaus. Yang was the recipient of the 2018 Leonard Bernstein Award and is a member of the crossover string band Time for Three. Yang also attended Juilliard, and has performed as a soloist with orchestras and in concert in the U.S., Europe, Brazil, Russia, China and Taiwan.

Lark and Yang were previously featured in From the Top’s show 286, which was recorded in CCM’s Corbett Auditorium in April 2014. The episode featured a performance by the Starling Chamber Orchestra and young musicians from the Starling Preparatory String project along with “The Starling/From the Top Alumni Trio,” comprised of Lark, Yang and Jonathan Miron.

The hiring of Lark and Yang is part of larger changes at From the Top. Pianist Peter Dugan has been named the new permanent host of the program, starting with the 2020-21 season. Violinist Vijay Gupta and clarinetist Alex Laing join Lark and Yang as co-hosts, and pianist Orli Shaham will solo guest host.

All will interview and collaborate with the From the Top young musicians and will serve as mentors to the From the Top musicians. They will also be actively involved in leadership training, community engagement and career development programs. As strategic and collaborative partners, their insight and experience will help to inform future development of From the Top.

For the past 20 years, From the Top has featured performances and stories of young classically-trained musicians, and continues to provide a national platform that showcases and supports the next generation of emerging classical artists, from live concert tapings to leadership training and community engagement programs.

About 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, passio, 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.

About the Starling Preparatory String Project

Founded in 1987 by CCM Professor Kurt Sassmannshaus, the Starling Preparatory String Project is a specialized honors program training young string students. The program is generously funded through a grant by the Dorothy Richard Starling Foundation. The superbly talented musicians perform as the Starling Chamber Orchestra and are selected by audition.

Students receive one hourly lesson per week, and take music theory, chamber music and orchestra each Saturday. Instructors include CCM faculty and graduate students specially trained and chosen by Professor Sassmannshaus. Most of the students are from the greater Cincinnati area, and many others commute on Saturdays from other states. SCO has a concert series at Robert J. Werner Recital Hall at CCM and tours regularly. For more information on the Starling Preparatory String Project, visit www.starling.org.


Story by CCM Graduate Student Alexandra Doyle

CCM News Faculty Fanfare

CCM Brings NPR’s Hit Show ‘From the Top with Host Christopher O’Riley’ to UC on April 2

The logo for NPR's 'From the Top with Host Christopher O’Riley.'CCM is pleased to announce that From the Top with Host Christopher O’Riley, the preeminent showcase for young musicians, will come to UC’s Corbett Auditorium to record a radio broadcast on Wednesday, April 2, 2014.

Heard weekly in the Greater Cincinnati area on WGUC 90.9 FM, the popular NPR radio program features the amazing performances and captivating personal stories of extraordinary young classical musicians from across the country. The From the Top episode recorded on April 2 will be presented by CCM to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Starling Chamber Orchestra, the college’s premier preparatory string ensemble.

The show will feature the Starling Chamber Orchestra, with conductor and CCM Violin Chair Kurt Sassmannshaus, and will include solo performances by several current and past Starling Chamber Orchestra participants. Twelve-year-old violinist Skye Park from Lexington, Kentucky, is a participant in the Starling Chamber Orchestra and previously appeared on From the Top in 2012 from a special show taped at CCM’s Great Wall Academy in Beijing, China.

Violinist and 2012 Naumburg Competition-winner Tessa Lark, 24, and violinist Jonathan Miron, 21, both Starling Orchestra alumni, will perform “Romance” by Joseph Hellmesberger, along with From the Top alumnus Charles Yang.

Also featured on the show will be 17-year-old pianist Yilun Xu from New York City and 17-year-old horn player Avery Roth-Hawthorne from Oakland, California.

For tickets and information, contact the CCM Box Office at boxoff@uc.edu or 513-556-4183, or visit ccm.uc.edu/fromthetop.

From the Top may be heard locally on WGUC 90.9 on Saturdays at 9 a.m.; this episode will air nationally the week of May 5.

CCM News Student Salutes

CCM Announces Spring 2014 Calendar of Major Events

Download CCM's Spring 2014 Calendar Booklet today.

Download CCM’s Spring 2014 Calendar Booklet today.

UPDATED March 7, 2014: CCM is delighted to announce its spring 2014 schedule of major events. The largest single source of performing arts events in the state of Ohio, CCM presents nearly 150 major public performances from Jan. 12 through May 18, ranging from faculty and guest artist concerts to fully supported opera, musical theatre, drama and dance productions.

Highlights of CCM’s spring concert series include the return of Cincinnati’s premiere fundraiser “A Moveable Feast” on Jan. 17, the Ariel Quartet’s Beethoven Cycle running Jan. 23 – March 29, a performance of Schubert’s Winterreise song cycle by guest artists Gerald Finley and Julius Drake on Feb. 5, the fifth annual Bearcat Piano Festival running Feb. 6 – 11, the 17th annual PRISM concert on Feb. 23, a performance of John Adams’ El Niño on March 2 and a celebration of the music of jazz legend Thelonius Monk on March 9.

CCM’s Mainstage Series also continues in early 2014 with a production of Mary Zimmerman’s Metamorphoses, directed by guest artist D. Lynn Meyers, running Feb. 5 – 9; the CCM debut of the iconic musical Les Misérables, running Feb. 27 – March 9;  Donizett’s comedic opera Don Pasquale, running April 3–6; and the quintessential romantic ballet Giselle, running April 17–19.

Learn more about these and dozens of other performing and media-arts events by referring to the list below. You can also view a digital copy of CCM’s Spring 2014 Calendar Booklet here.

CCM News

Two CCM Prep Violinists to Perform with Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

Left to right: Christina Nam, Robert Treviño and Skye Park.

Left to right: Christina Nam, Robert Treviño and Skye Park.

On Tuesday, Feb. 19 and Wednesday, March 20, two students from the CCM Preparatory Department (CCM Prep) will perform the first movement of Bach’s concerto for two violins on the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s A Family of Strings program!

The students, Skye Park of Lexington, KY and Christina Nam of West Chester, OH, are from CCM’s Starling Preparatory String Project and are studying with CCM faculty member Kurt Sassmannshaus.

The concert is part of the CSO’s Young People’s Concerts series, and will feature CSO musicians under Associate Conductor Robert Treviño. Park and Nam performed the same work last summer at the Great Wall International Music Festival in Beijing and the performance was broadcast in November on NPR‘s From the Top.

CCM News Student Salutes

Students From CCM’s Starling Program Featured on NPR’s ‘From the Top’

This month, NPR‘s popular program From the Top will feature students from CCM’s Starling String Project, who were taped at the Great Wall International Music Academy in Beijing last summer.

From the Top host Christopher O’Riley travelled to China to tape two concerts led by CCM’s Kurt Sassmannshaus, which will air at 9 a.m. on Nov. 10 and Nov. 17 on Cincinnati’s WGUC (90.9 FM)!

Learn more courtesy of Janelle Gelfand and the Cincinnati Enquirer‘s “Arts in Focus” blog here.

CCM News CCM Video Student Salutes

CCM Starling Students Claim Top Prize at the Fischoff Competition

The Polaris Quartet includes, from left to right: Jenny Lee, Demi Fang, Billy Fang and Joshua Halpern.

Congratulations to the members of the Polaris String Quartet from CCM’s Starling Project, who were awarded the first prize in the junior division of the Fischoff Competition. The event was held at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana on May 15, 2011. The Gold Medal includes a $2,000 prize as well as an appearance on the nationally syndicated radio program “From The Top.”

The performers of the Polaris Quartet are Jenny Lee (violin), a high school junior from Bloomington, Indiana and a student of Dr. Won-Bin Yim; Billy Fang (violin), a Princeton-bound high school senior from Centerville, Ohio and student of Kurt Sassmannshaus; Demi Fang (viola), a high school sophomore, also from Centerville, Ohio and also a student of Kurt Sassmannshaus; and Josh Halpern (cello), a high school junior from Dayton and a student of Alan Rafferty.

CCM News

CCM Soprano Featured on NPR’s “From The Top” Next Week

Alisa Suzanne Jordheim

Alisa Suzanne Jordheim

Soprano Alisa Suzanne Jordheim, a student in CCM’s DMA Voice program, appears on an upcoming episode of NPR’s From The Top. The hit radio program features America’s best young classical musicians and is hosted by acclaimed pianist Christopher O’Riley. On the show, Jordheim performs three selections from Gordon Getty’s celebrated song cycle “The White Election,” accompanied by O’Riley. The episode airs nationally next week and locally on WGUC 90.9 FM at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 12. The episode was taped before a live audience at the Lincoln Theater Napa Valley on Jan. 23, 2011. Learn more about Jordheim after the jump!

CCM News