O’Riley concert

Christopher O’Riley will be performing a concert of Radiohead transcriptions at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre on December 13, 2002 at 8pm. Tickets are on sale now here. Try to catch this if you can…

(thanks to Lindsay)


Christopher O’Riley

Concert pianist and host of the radio program “From the Top”, Christopher O’Riley, is in Athens, GA right now recording an album which will include his interpretations of Radiohead’s music. Here’s some more info from Online Athens:

O’Riley has played the compositions recorded on the CD — namely those by British band Radiohead — publicly before, on his radio show, in concerts and as a guest on National Public Radio’s ”Performance Today.”
The response to a classical pianist — who’s earned top prizes at such prestigious competitions as Van Cliburn, Leeds, Busoni and Montreal, and won the Avery Fisher Career Grant and the Andrew Wolf Memorial Chamber Music Prize — playing modern rock music was exceptionally positive. Mark Mobley, music producer for ”Performance Today,” was in fact so impressed he acted as producer for the project.
But the recording was something greater than O’Riley simply sitting at the piano playing his favorite Radiohead tunes.
”Not being an improviser, I didn’t think it was fair to approach the sessions without scoring each one,” he said. ”Before, it was more like I was playing ‘at’ these songs, sort of a rough sketch of what I came up with for the CD. … And I wanted to get the best of those ideas on paper. So I started about a week and a half ago getting all of these songs down — and it only took me about a week and half to figure out how completely unplayable they are,” he added with a laugh.
For those unfamiliar, Radiohead is a multi-Grammy winning and critically acclaimed band that plays richly textured orchestrations, often incorporating non-traditional instruments into their songs. So paring down such a host of sounds into a piece for the piano proved no small task.
Then again, to a classical musician whose fingers can find their way around Shostakovich, Radiohead’s intricacy is at least one reason the music is so appealing.
”Their sophistication is part of the hook of the group,” O’Riley admitted. ”But at the same time, the power of each component part — the lushness of this wall of sound created by three guitar players — isn’t something I can necessarily recreate. It’s more a matter of the lines and how they build up to create such a beautiful structure. The first thing that attracts me to any music is the way it creates a color or mood.”
O’Riley said he hasn’t received any feedback from the band about his piano compositions, and doesn’t necessarily expect to; though he found it rather funny that coincidentally, while he was in Athens recording, the band was in a Los Angeles recording studio just down the street from his house there.

Read the full article.
(thanks to Mark Mobley)


From the Top

NBC’s Today Show will be profiling the public radio program From the Top sometime between the 8:30 – 9:00 am hour tomorrow morning. From the Top is hosted by Christopher O’Riley, who does some amazing covers of Radiohead songs on the piano. Please tune in if you can.

For more info on Christopher O’Riley, please visit his website at


Pianist Christopher O’Riley has launched his own website at

Also, be sure to check out the Peformance Today “Easter Egg” page with some more transcribed Radiohead songs by O’Riley!

(thanks to Brian)


Performance Today

Did you miss Christopher O’Riley’s beautiful renditions of Radiohead songs on the NPR show “Performance Today”? If so, please head on over to the Performance Today site and you can listen to the full show!

(thanks to Mark)


From the Top

Here are some more recordings of Christopher O’Riley doing various Radiohead songs on the piano:

Like Spinning Plates
Knives Out
Everything in its Right Place
Black Star
Polyethylene Part 2
Karma Police

Christopher O’Riley hosts a public radio show in the US called From the Top, which is a forum for pre-college age classical musicians. O’Riley will be performing Radiohead songs on NPR’s Performance Today on May 28th, as we earlier reported.

For more info about From the Top, please check out their website at
(thanks to Andy)