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10-Year-Old Pianist Olivia Larco and Los Angeles Children’s Chorus Among Young Artists to be Featured on NPR’s From The Top

Live Concert to be Recorded for the Popular Radio Program at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Will Showcase Young Musicians from California and Beyond
Published on Feb 28, 2020

Ten-year-old piano prodigy Olivia Larco, a fifth grader at Pasadena’s Westridge School, and the Pasadena-based Los Angeles Children’s Chorus are among the young artists from California and beyond featured in a live concert at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts that is being recorded for From the Top, the nationally-distributed NPR program, on Wednesday, March 4, 2020 at 7:30 PM. Host Peter Dugan and co-host Vijay Gupta will interview and perform with each of the exceptional young artists, ages 10 – 18, showcasing not just their inspiring talent, but also giving insight into the lives of these young, aspirational artists. The event, presented in conjunction with GRoW @ The Wallis, the umbrella for a robust mix of education and outreach programs at The Wallis, is open to the public and tickets are now available. The From the Top broadcast of this live event will air on participating stations, including locally on KUSC (FM 91.5), and by podcast during the week of June 1, 2020.

From the Top’s live recording events are one part of a larger residency, which includes leadership training, community engagement, and career development programs designed to explore how each of the young participating musicians can utilize their artistry beyond traditional performance settings. The young artists will also perform in a non-broadcast concert at The Wallis for some 500-area school children ages 8 to 18 in grades 3 through 12 from 7 local schools on March 5, as part of GRoW @ The Wallis.

Larco, a Pasadena resident, will perform Chopin’s Étude Op.25 no.11, “Winter Wind.” She studies piano with Veda Kaplinsky and her mother, Soojin Ahn. This past summer, Larco was the youngest pianist ever invited to study at the prestigious Aspen Summer Music Festival and School. She also had the opportunity to play the role of “piano prodigy” on a recent episode of ABC’s Modern Family. Larco has many interests, but especially loves to write stories and poems and is even working on libretto for her own original opera, “Hanisha.”

Los Angeles Children’s Chorus (LACC), under the leadership of Fernando Malvar-Ruiz, Artistic Director and Conductor, and Shawn Ingram, Executive Director, will perform “Pueri Herbraeorum” by Randall Thompson and “Over the Rainbow” by Harold Arlen, arranged by Mark Hayes. LACC provides choral music education of the highest quality to young people who represent richly diverse racial, economic and cultural backgrounds. The program ignites a love of singing and nurtures the full expression of each individual’s potential for artistic and personal excellence through the collaborative experience of choral music performance. Through the beauty of inspired and joyful singing, Los Angeles Children’s Chorus brings the transformative power of music to communities throughout Southern California, the nation and the world. The LACC Concert Choir will appear on the broadcast.

Other musicians to be featured include:

17-year-old cellist Mei Hotta from Torrance, California performing Piano Trio, III. Capricious by Reena Esmail with Peter Dugan, piano and Vijay Gupta, violin

14-year-old violinist Bianca Ciubancan from Chicago, Illinois performing Brahms’ Hungarian Dance No. 7 in F Major, from 21 Hungarian Dances, WoO 1 with host Peter Dugan.

The Quantum Saxophone Quartet from Dallas, Texas performing Marcelo Zarvos’ “Memory” from Nepomuk’s Dances. The quartet features: GianCarlo Lay, 16, from Carrollton, Texas, recipient of From the Top’s Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award; Ekdev Rajkitkul, 17, from Frisco, Texas, recipient of From the Top’s Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award; Austin Dreyer, 18, from Carrollton, Texas and Peyton Joffre, 18, from Carrollton, Texas. The Quantum Quartet’s appearance is sponsored by ACMP.

From the Top, distributed by NPR, is the most popular weekly one-hour music program on public radio. Young performers share their passion for classical music through performance and conversation, giving insight into their unique worlds, from musical pursuits to day-in-the-life musings.

From the Top’s live appearance and recording at The Wallis is made possible with generous support from Gregory Annenberg Weingarten and GRoW @ Annenberg, and Phyllis and Angelo Mozilo.

Tickets, $35 to $59, are on sale now. The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts is located at 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills. To purchase tickets and for more information, please call 310-746-4000 or visit

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