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Christopher O'Riley

Christopher O’Riley, pianist

Acclaimed for his engaging and deeply committed performances, the pianist Christopher O’Riley is known to millions as the host of NPR’s From the Top. Now in his 15th year on air, O’Riley introduces the next generation of classical-music stars to almost a million listeners each week. He performs around the world and has garnered widespread praise for his untiring efforts to reach new audiences.

Christopher O’Riley has performed as a soloist with virtually all of the major American orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, National Symphony, and San Francisco Symphony. In addition, O’Riley has performed recitals throughout North America, Europe, and Australia. His last appearance with the RPO was in November 2000.

Living by the Duke Ellington adage “There are only two kinds of music, good music and bad,” O’Riley – a proponent of the former in all of its guises – has received the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant and an equally coveted four-star review from Rolling Stone magazine. O’Riley strives to introduce new audiences to classical music with an almost missionary zeal by performing piano arrangements of music by Radiohead, Elliott Smith, Pink Floyd, and Nirvana alongside traditional classical repertoire. He has collaborated for many years with the flutist Sir James Galway and cellists Matt Haimovitz and Carter Brey.

A prolific recording artist, O’Riley has recorded the music of Beethoven, Stravinsky, Scriabin, Liszt, Ravel, Gershwin, Debussy, and John Adams for Sony Classical, Oxingale Records, RCA Red Seal, Decca, and Harmonia Mundi.

Christopher O’Riley splits his time between Los Angeles and rural Ohio.  Visit him online at www.christopheroriley.com, and From the Top at www.fromthetop.org.

Photo credit: Dan Williams

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