Christopher O'Riley, host of NPR's "From the Top," plays Strings Music Festival at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

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Christopher O'Riley, host of NPR's "From the Top," plays Strings Music Festival at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Host of NPR's 'From the Top' to perform in Steamboat Springs

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— Christopher O’Riley always wants listeners to try something new.

As the host of NPR’s hit show “From the Top” and a renowned classical musician, O’Riley knows that the power of crossover classical music can do some good.

“There are all sorts of threads that leave listeners a wide frame of reference and goodwill trying something new,” he said.

O’Riley has turned his classical acumen into reworked albums by Nick Drake, Elliott Smith and Radiohead.

O’Riley, along with Matt Haimovitz, will play the Strings Music Festival on Wednesday.

Tickets are available by clicking here or calling 970-879-5056.

The show will be part of a unique collaboration. Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp will team up with the C Street Brass band and have several pre-professional tango dancers perform before O’Riley and Haimovitz take the stage and perform Shuffle.Play.Listen.

The show begins at 7 p.m., and tickets are $36.

The show is “homage to the iPod,” O’Riley said. “We go back and forth between classical to classical pop.”

O’Riley’s show “From the Top” is a showcase for young musicians and reaches more than 700,000 listeners on 250 stations.

The show is in its 15th year and O’Riley said he doesn’t see any reason to stop. It allows him to feature young classical musicians and help that type of music get a greater crossover into other genres.

He’s probably most well known for his “True Love Waits” record, where he plays Radiohead songs.

The songs on the record are all noticeable but done in a classical way.

“With Radiohead, you can approximate the feel and context of the song on the piano,” he said. “There is quite a lot of crossover with classical in terms of listening. If you like Radiohead, you’ll like this or that.”

O’Riley currently is working on several projects and doing a lot more composing himself.

He’s currently writing a score for the E-book Only Revolutions.

Although he has never played Strings before, he’s collaborated on several projects with Andrés Cårdenes, one of the music directors for the venue.

Strings also will have a fundraiser Thursday at Lake Catamount where O’Riley will be the featured speaker.

That begins at 6 p.m. and costs $150, $100 of which is tax deductible.

Those interested are asked to RSVP by Monday to Strings.

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com

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