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
11:34 am
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 11:35 am

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
4:00 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
9:27 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 9:49 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
11:33 am
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 10:42 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
8:27 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 12:08 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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Deceptive Cadence
4:36 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Cecilia Bartoli's Latest 'Mission' Rediscovers Agostino Steffani

Mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli uncovers the music of Agostino Steffani, a 17th-century composer who led a double life as a diplomat.
Decca

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 12:09 pm

Cecilia Bartoli has a passion for musical archaeology: "I am the Indiana Jones of classical," she says jokingly to All Things Considered host Robert Siegel.

Bartoli rummages through music history to uncover forgotten opera composers deserving of her detailed and dramatic performances. Her new album, Mission, introduces her most recent "find," the late-17th-century Italian Agostino Steffani.

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Deceptive Cadence
8:23 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Pop Goes Classical Puzzler

Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" isn't the only pop song to get the classical music treatment.
Mike Stobe Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 6:21 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
2:52 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

William Duckworth, An Innovative Voice In Music And Teaching, Silenced At 69

Composer William Duckworth, photographed at Bucknell University, where he taught since 1973.
Bill Cardoni Bucknell Office of Communications

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 2:49 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
8:09 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Gorecki's 'Miserere,' An A Cappella Oasis Of Calm

A new album of choral music by the late Polish composer Henryk Gorecki creates a calm and welcoming space.
Janek Skarzynski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 12:09 pm

Twenty years have passed since Polish composer Henryk Górecki became one of the most talked about figures in classical music. In 1992, his painfully beautiful Third Symphony, the "Symphony of Sorrowful Songs," shot up the charts and was played on the radio everywhere. A recording conducted by David Zinman and featuring soprano Dawn Upshaw sold more than a million copies — huge for a classical album.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
7:03 am
Mon September 10, 2012

Avi Avital: Tiny Desk Concert

Michael Katzif NPR

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 9:02 am

Other than bluegrass virtuosos like Ricky Skaggs, players of the mandolin don't often get taken very seriously. But a young Israeli musician named Avi Avital is trying to change that. He's not a bluegrass star; instead, his mandolin sings with the sounds of Johann Sebastian Bach, Ernest Bloch and contemporary composers like Avner Dorman.

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