Tom Huizenga

Tom Huizenga is a music producer, reporter and blogger for NPR Music. He hosts NPR's classical music blog Deceptive Cadence.

A regular contributor of stories about classical music on NPR's news programs, Huizenga regularly introduces intriguing new classical CDs to listeners on the weekend version of All Things Considered. He contributes to NPR Music's "Song of the Day."

During his time at NPR, Huizenga spent seven years as a producer, writer and editor for NPR's Peabody Award-winning daily classical music magazine Performance Today, and for the programs SymphonyCast and World of Opera. He produced the live broadcast of Gershwin's Porgy & Bess from Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center, concerts from NPR's Studio 4A and performances on the road at Summerfest La Jolla, the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival and New York's Le Poisson Rouge.

Huizenga's radio career began at the University of Michigan, where he graduated in 1986. During his four year tenure, he regularly hosted several radio programs (opera, jazz, free-form, experimental radio) at Ann Arbor's WCBN. As a student in the Enthnomusicology department, Huizenga studied and performed traditional court music from Indonesia. He also studied English Literature and voice, while writing for the university's newspaper.

After college Huizenga took his love of music and broadcasting to New Mexico, where he served as music director for NPR member station KRWG, in Las Cruces, and taught radio production at New Mexico State University.

Huizenga lives in Takoma Park, MD, with his wife Valeska Hilbig, a public affairs director at the Smithsonian. In his spare time he writes about music for the Washington Post, overloads on concerts and movies and swings a tennis racket wildly on many local courts.

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Deceptive Cadence
8:03 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Benedict And Beethoven: The Outgoing Pope's Musical Life

Pope Benedict XVI addresses the audience at Milan's La Scala opera house where he heard a performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 conducted by Daniel Barenboim.
Daniel Dal Zennaro AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 9:18 am

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Deceptive Cadence
4:45 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

The Operatic Potential Of DSK, A Modern Don Giovanni

Disgraced former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn leaves court in Paris Tuesday after attending a hearing regarding his seizure request for a new book by Argentinian-born Marcela Iacub detailing their liason.
Kenzo Tribouillard AFP/Getty Images

If I wrote operas, my next work would be called DSKNY. That's a snazzy abbreviation for Dominique Strauss-Kahn New York. The idea came last night when colleagues invited me for cocktails at the Sofitel Hotel, the site of DSK's alleged sexual assault of a hotel maid in 2011, and the beginning of his fall from grace.

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Deceptive Cadence
12:29 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Nordic Symphonies And A $100 Guitar: Music We Love Now

Conductor Colin Davis concludes his cycle of Carl Nielsen's symphonies with the London Symphony Orchestra.
LSO Live

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 12:08 pm

Turn your ears toward three albums now tickling ours: clever Nielsen, glowing Finland and one battered electric guitar.

Deceptive Cadence
12:08 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Measures Of Affection: Five Musical Love Letters

Composer Peter Lieberson wrote his Neruda Songs for his wife, mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson.
Johansen Krause Peter Lieberson

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 12:21 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
2:51 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Subterranean Notes, The New Baroque And A Nod To Minnesota: Music We Love Now

Violist Nadia Sirota.
Samantha West courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 11:52 am

From Christopher Purves' bottomless bass voice and the soaring Sibelius Fifth to a violist's new take on the Baroque, it's this week's list of albums we can't stop listening to. Got a favorite album you've had on repeat lately? Let us know about it the comments section.

Deceptive Cadence
12:23 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Classical Grammys 2013: Same Old Winners, Bold New Music

Members of eighth blackbird performing at the pre-telecast Grammy Awards Sunday.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Ah, the joys of Monday morning quarterbacking, classical style.

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Classics in Concert
11:39 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Max Richter In Concert: Reimagining Vivaldi

Composer-performer Max Richter (right) brings his revamped Vivaldi to Manhattan's Le Poisson Rouge.
Denise DeBelius NPR

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 3:00 pm

Can't take another moment of Vivaldi's ubiquitous Four Seasons? Neither could Max Richter, a London-based composer who deftly blurs the lines between the classical and electronic worlds.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
2:03 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Cantus: Tiny Desk Concert

Cantus performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Dec. 3, 2012.
Ryan Smith for NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 6:43 pm

Is there some kind of weird vocal vortex in Minnesota? The state turns out so many excellent choral groups — at the school, church and professional levels — that it can arguably be dubbed the choral center of the U.S.

The members of the male vocal ensemble called Cantus, who huddled around Bob Boilen's desk to sing for us, hail from that vortex — specifically Minneapolis-St. Paul.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:38 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

A Little Part Of Poulenc In All Of Us

French composer Francis Poulenc (photographed in 1960 in New York) is famous for his music and his many contradictions.
John Jonas Gruen Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 5:05 pm

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Classics in Concert
1:04 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Reneé Fleming And Susan Graham At Carnegie Hall

Reneé Fleming (right) and Susan Graham — two "cheerful Americans" often mistaken for each other — are planning an intimate evening of French song.
Craig T. Mathew/Mathew Imaging

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 10:37 am

No one would mistake Carnegie Hall's grand 2,800-seat Isaac Stern Auditorium for a cozy Parisian salon. But soprano Reneé Fleming and mezzo-soprano Susan Graham will do their best to conjure such an intimate space Sunday at 8 p.m. ET as they present an evening of French songs, webcast live on this page and at WQXR.

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Deceptive Cadence
12:45 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Musical Google Earth: Composer Paul Moravec's Sense of Place

The mountainside Montserrat monastery, north of Barcelona, inspired Paul Moravec to write a cello concerto.
Luis Davilla Cover/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 3:10 pm

"Location, location, location" is the mantra of real estate, but for centuries geographical locales have also been a boon to the imagination of many a composer. Think of Tchaikovsky, who mimicked the bugle calls he heard each morning while visiting Rome in the opening brass fanfare of his Capriccio Italien.

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Deceptive Cadence
11:34 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Who Needs Drugs When You've Got Music?

"Music modulates levels of dopamine in the brain which is a chemical responsible for reward and pleasure," says author Daniel Levitin.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 9:09 pm

It happened again last Saturday. And boy, when it hit me it felt great — though it left me a little shaken.

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Deceptive Cadence
4:19 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Echoes Of 2012: A Classical Music Quiz

Gustavo Dudamel conducts Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela at Carnegie Hall.
Ramin Talaie NPR

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 11:50 am

While the new year is still fresh, let's take a look in the rearview mirror at some of the noteworthy happenings in the classical music world. Were you listening last year? See if you remember the big, and not-so-big, stories from 2012 in our quiz.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Best Music Of 2012
3:19 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Top 10 Classical Albums Of 2012

Pianist Jeremy Denk, whose album of Ligeti and Beethoven landed on our Top 10 Classical of 2012.
Michael Wilson courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 12:36 pm

  • Discussion: Top 10 Classical Albums Of 2012

At first glance, our top picks for 2012 may seem to range far and wide, from a fresh take on an epic late Beethoven string quartet to cellist Maya Beiser playing spaciously layered new music by Michael Harrison. What unites this diverse bunch is a spirit of discovery — not just in new music that we'll return to again and again but in the artistic energy that animates each of these projects.

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Deceptive Cadence
12:34 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

The Politicians In Opera Puzzler

Bass Boris Christoff plays Philip II of Spain in Verdi's Don Carlo. Although the real Philip was a successful politician, he bankrupted his government four times.
Erich Auerbach Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 12:35 pm

As the presidential campaign heads into the homestretch, with binders, bayonets and a profusion of political ads, perhaps it's time to step back from the election hubbub.

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Deceptive Cadence
5:00 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

'Nixon In China': An American Opera Inches Toward Classic At 25

The original production of John Adams' Nixon in China (at Houston Grand Opera) celebrates the 25-year mark.
Jim Caldwell Houston Grand Opera

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Deceptive Cadence
11:09 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Indianapolis Symphony Returns, Seattle May Strike And Philly Reboots

After a contentious labor duspute, the Indianapolis Symphony returns to the stage this weekend.
Thomas J. Russo Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 9:57 am

  • Symphony returns in Indianapolis: Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra musicians, who had been locked out since Sept. 10, came to a two-stage agreement with the Indianapolis Symphony Society, which runs the orchestra. The first of the new contracts is a bridge agreement that keeps the orchestra running until Feb.
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Deceptive Cadence
10:27 am
Thu October 18, 2012

Simone Dinnerstein's Bach Between The Notes

Simone Dinnerstein communes with the music of J.S. Bach at the NPR studio.
Doriane Raiman NPR

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 10:49 am

There's something about Johann Sebastian Bach's music that nourishes musicians. Pianist Andras Schiff and cellist Yo-Yo Ma have said that they play Bach almost every day — like having breakfast, it seems essential for them.

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Deceptive Cadence
12:33 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Esa-Pekka Salonen's Excellent Violin Adventure

Composer-conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen's award-winning Violin Concerto receives its debut recording.
Mat Hennek Deutsche Grammophon

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 11:42 am

After 17 years molding the Los Angeles Philharmonic into one of the smartest and most adventurous U.S. orchestras, music director Esa-Pekka Salonen called it quits in 2009. Among his reasons for leaving the ensemble was to devote more time to composing.

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Deceptive Cadence
9:27 am
Wed September 26, 2012

A Young Pianist Triumphs In Music From The Young 20th Century

Another solid album from Polish pianist Rafał Blechacz shows he's an artist of distinction.
Felix Broede DG

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 1:08 pm

Polish pianist Rafał Blechacz was just 20 years old when he swept all five top prizes at the 2005 Chopin Competition in Warsaw. His domination was so thorough the judges declined to award a runner-up.

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