The sounds of Studzinski will hit the airwaves next week when National Public Radio's "From the Top" records a new installment of their program featuring Allen Wong Yu '14 on piano.
"From the Top," a radio show co-founded by Gerald Slavet '61, showcases some of the country's best classical musicians between the ages of eight and 18, who perform and share their personal stories.
Since its debut in 2000, the show has become the nation's most popular weekly classical music program.
Slavet gained his first exposure to the arts during his time at Bowdoin.
"I grew up as a first generation immigrant in Boston and I did not have any conscious arts experience until late in my years at Bowdoin when I participated in some acting, and took a music course during my senior year," said Slavet.
This lack of arts awareness growing up inspired Slavet to highlight young musicians.
"Many kids who play classical music don't even want their friends to know that they play classical music," said Slavet. "We wanted to make a big deal out of the fact that a 14-year old may play cello at the level of a 20-year old just like a high school administration makes a big deal out of one its sports teams winning the state championship."
"The tension in producing this show was always about 'how do you make a show about classical music entertaining for people who have never heard classical music before as well as interesting for devotees?'" he explained. "It is the kids who make it interesting for both groups. Anyone who is a super jock at Bowdoin who has never listened to classical music and comes to the broadcast taping will be mesmerized by it."
Many of the world's most acclaimed musicians—including Yo-Yo Ma, Hilary Hahn, Bobby McFerrin, Midori, Bela Fleck, Joshua Bell, Sir James Galway, and Michael Feinstein—have appeared alongside young performers on the show.
Wednesday's taping will be pianist Yu's second appearance on the broadcast, having first participated in high school.
"That year was very successful for me," said Yu, who was chosen by "From the Top" as one of 25 pre-collegiate classical musicians to receive the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist scholarship for the continuing study of classical music.
Next Wednesday will mark the third occassion Yu will have played with renowned pianist Christopher O'Riley, the host of "From the Top."
The non-profit organization Portland Ovations selected Yu to participate in a master class with O'Riley last year, and around the same time, President Barry Mills and Slavet discussed the idea of inviting "From the Top" to campus.
"We felt very comfortable about coming to Bowdoin," said Erin MacCurtain, director of marketing and communications for "From the Top." "Of course, Mr. Slavet is a Bowdoin alumnus, but we also felt comfortable because we already have a variety of presenting partners that have included colleges, and we are partners with Maine Public Broadcasting so we have a good fan base in Maine."
"The timing worked out well for both 'From the Top' and the College," said Tony Sprague, director of events and summer programs. "We had the benefit of having the appearance at Bowdoin occur at a time when Yu could also appear on the show as a current Bowdoin student to follow-up on his prior performance while in high school."
"I was at a trustee dinner when President Mills approached me," said Yu. "He asked me if I knew that the co-founder of 'From the Top' graduated from Bowdoin and if I wanted to participate on the show once more. Of course, I said 'yes.'"
Yu will be performing Vladimir Horowitz's 1946 solo piano arrangement of "The Great Gate of Kiev" from "Pictures at an Exhibition" by Modest Mussorgsky.
"I think this broadcast was important for Bowdoin to showcase some of the additional opportunities available at the College," said MacCurtain.
Yu spoke in this regard, saying, "Piano has always been a passion of mine," he said. "Eventually I would like to go into a career in government, but music will always be a part of me."
The taping is expected to be one of the most popular events on campus all year.
"We had a very strong response when tickets became available," said Sprague.
The live taping will take place in Studzinski Recital Hall Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.
The event is open to the public, and tickets are required. Advance tickets are sold out, but additional tickets will be available at the door and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.