Neil Rao: Where is He Now?

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Classical 90.5’s Young Artist Competition showcases our region’s top musical talent. Every fall kids ages 8-18 compete for a spot in our live on-air studio recital.

But where do our winners go from there?

I caught up with our 2010 Young Artist Competition Winner Neil Rao, a percussionist and marimbist who recently played Carnegie Hall with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra.

Neil talked about the the weightiness of playing in Carnegie Hall, the work it took to get there, and gave advice to young musicians who are trying to make it in the music world.

He said it really boils down to three things: practicing, people skills, and your motivation- really having a cultivated reason for why you are a musician.

And why is Neil a musician?

“I’m a musician because I love spreading the joy that comes across people’s faces and comes across people’s hearts when they hear these wild sounds from every single spectrum of emotion you can have.”

Listen to Neil’s story and watch him playing his original composition below:

Audio: Kentucky Opera Showboat Preview

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Recorded live on February 3, 2016 at Classical 90.5/Louisville Public Media. Due to a technical malfunction, the final 10 minutes of the preview is not available.

Interview: From the Top’s Christopher O’Riley

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Christopher O’Riley is the host of NPR’s From the Top, heard Sundays at 6pm. While in town for a live taping at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, O’Riley talked with Daniel Gilliam about the level of talent on the show, how the performers are ambassadors for music, and his own recording projects.

Audio: Les Ordinaires In-Studio

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Audio: Rob Simonds In-Studio

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