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Northwestern State piano series features "From the Top" host

Christopher O'Riley_1.jpg

Pianist Christopher O’Riley, the host of the NPR music program “From the Top,” will perform Saturday, March 23, at Northwestern State University as part of its Louisiana Piano Series International. O’Riley is finishing up a three-year residency at LSU School of Music. Northwestern State associate professor of music Christine Burczyk Allen said the series brings in big artists, and it just so happens that this one wasn’t too far away.

“We figured it would be easier to get him if he were already in the state. He’d be close to us," Allen said. "So, we called his agent and asked him, and he agreed to come play at Northwestern.”

Allen said O’Riley’s repertoire will comprise an eclectic mix of classical music and his own arrangements of rock music. O’Riley has reimagined works by groups like Radiohead and R.E.M. As host of “From the Top,” O’Riley is known for his eloquent and compelling musings on music and pop culture.

NSU assistant professor of music Francis Yang said O’Riley will also participate in a master class and three NSU pianists will perform for him and get feedback.

“Every Saturday morning, he gives incredible feedback to the students," Yang said, referring to his hosting of the "From the Top" program that features young musicians. "He’s very encouraging and very positive. So that’s why we’re looking forward to his master class with the students.”

The master class is Saturday, March 23, at 1 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall. The master class is open to the public. O’Riley’s concert is at 7:30 p.m. also in Magale Recital Hall.