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Season 1: Episode 10

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Guest star Denyce Graves shares her moving story of discovering opera as a youth in inner-city Washington, D.C., on this episode of From the Top at Carnegie Hall. The acclaimed mezzo-soprano performs with four outstanding young musicians: flutist Helen McGarr, 15, from Lindon, Utah; clarinetist Jonathan Cohen, 17, from New Orleans; cellist Nicolas Olarte-Hayes, 17, from Plainsboro, NJ; and harpist Maura Valenti, 18, from New York City. Musical selections include the first movement of Poulenc’s “Sonata for Flute and Piano,” Rodgers and Hart’s “Manhattan,” and Luciano Berio’s folk song setting of “Loosin Yelav.”


Performer Bios

Jonathan Cohen Jonathan Cohen

Jonathan Cohen (clarinet), 17, enjoys playing music with his family-Mom on cello, Dad on piano. A resident of Evanston, Illinois, Jonathan can often be found jogging on the shores of Lake Michigan to relieve stress or watching Family Guy....

Nicolas Olarte-Hayes Nicolas Olarte-Hayes

Nicolas Olarte-Hayes (cello), 17, is from Plainsboro, NJ and studies at the Juilliard Pre-College Division....

Maura Valenti Maura Valenti

Maura Valenti (harp), 18, is from New York City and studies at the Juilliard Pre-College Division....

Helen McGarr Helen McGarr

Helen McGarr (flute), 15, claims that she has ridden the Knot’s Berry Farm rollercoaster Xcelerator 50 times (it goes over 80 miles per hour!). An accomplished musician, Helen placed first in the Music Teacher’s National Association Junior Woodwinds competition. A...

From the Top The Bernard Osher Foundation Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Carnegie Hall Don Mischer Productions WGBH From the Top