October 3, 2023

Airing nationally during the weeks of October 9 and 16, 2023, NPR’s From the Top goes behind-the-scenes at the 2023 Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition and Festival with two broadcasts. Available on participating NPR stations and by podcast (details at fromthetop.org).

Hosted by pianist Peter Dugan, this two-part documentary-style episode of From the Top features 10 of the 23 pianists (age 13 to 17) chosen to participate in two weeks of high-level competition and intense artistic development at the third edition of the Cliburn Junior, held June 2023 in Dallas, Texas. From the Top’s two-part special reveals the personal journeys and backstories of these young artists in the midst of this incredible experience, as well as some of their groundbreaking performances.

The Cliburn International Junior Competition and Festival was established in 2015 as another means for the Cliburn to use its standing and expertise to encourage tomorrow’s great artists, to provide a valuable forum for them to express themselves, and to give them an entrance to the next step of their journeys. Key ingredients were top international jurors, the media and webcast, Final Round performances with orchestra, and the festival atmosphere, which included performance experience and artistic workshops—all put into place to make the program significantly useful for students with aspirations of being professional musicians. Learn more at cliburn.org/2023-junior-competition.


Listen to the episodes at the links below:



Audio will not be available at these links until October 9 and 16, respectively.

Featured performances:

PART I – Airing week of October 9th

Eddison Chen, 13, from Kansas City, MO, United States, performing HAYDN Sonata in A-flat Major, Hob. XVI: 46 (I)

Zihan Jin, 14, from China, performing CHOPIN Berceuse in D-flat Major, op. 57

Alyssa Gabrilovich, 17, from Philadelphia, PA, United States, performing Ossip GABRILOVICH Melody in E Minor, op. 8

Zhonghua Wei, 14, from China, performing MOZART Sonata No. 14 in C Minor, K. 457

Tiankun Ma, 16, from China, performing SANCAN Toccata

Yiran Zhou, 15, from China, performing BEETHOVEN Sonata No. 4 in E-flat Major, op. 7 (II)

PART II – Airing week of October 16th

Seokyoung Hong, 15, from South Korea and Boston, MA, performing RACHMANINOV Prelude in G Major, Op. 32, No. 5, and RACHMANINOV Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, op. 43

Modan Oyama, 17, from Japan, performing SCARLATTI Sonata in A Major, K. 24

Jan Schulmeister, 16, from Czechia, performing DEBUSSY “La cathédrale engloutie” from Préludes, Book 1

Yifan Wu, 14, from China, performing CHOPIN Piano Concerto No. 1 in E Minor, op. 11 (II)