Tom Huizenga

Tom Huizenga is a music producer, reporter and blogger for NPR Music.

He is a regular contributor of stories about classical music to NPR's news programs and co-hosts NPR's classical music blog Deceptive Cadence.

Joining NPR in 1999, Huizenga spent seven years as a producer, writer and editor for NPR's Peabody Award-winning daily classical music show Performance Today and for programs SymphonyCast and World of Opera.

He's produced live concerts, including a radio broadcast of Gershwin's Porgy & Bess from Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center and NPR's first classical music webcast from the Manhattan club (Le) Poisson Rouge, featuring the acclaimed Emerson String Quartet. He's also asked musicians to play in unlikely venues, such as cellist Alisa Weilerstein playing Bach at the Baltimore Aquarium. He's written and produced radio specials, like A Choral Christmas With Stile Antico, broadcast on stations around the country.

Huizenga's radio career began at the University of Michigan, where he hosted opera, jazz, free-form, and experimental radio programs at Ann Arbor's WCBN. As a student in the Ethnomusicology department, Huizenga studied and performed traditional court music from Indonesia. He also studied English Literature and voice, while writing for the university's newspaper.

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. and in his spare time writes about music for the Washington Post and overloads on concerts and movies.

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Arts & Life
10:48 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Music We Love Now: New Albums Of Bach, Beethoven And Brahms

Lisa Batiashvili plays the Stradivarius used to help birth Brahms' great Violin Concerto in D.
Anja Frers DG

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 9:04 am

New albums of music by the "Three Bs," Bach, Beethoven and Brahms, prove that going back to basics has its advantages. Hear a sweet-toned violin concerto, an audacious piano sonata and a solo cello suite caressed by a lute.

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Arts & Life
12:12 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

'Funeral March Of A Marionette': Puppet Music Promoted By Hitchcock

Charles Gounod's quirky march about marionettes found new life as the theme music to Alfred Hitchcock's suspense show on TV.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 2:17 pm

It's Marches Madness! Throughout this month, we're posting some of our favorite marches — from the concert hall, opera stage and parade ground. Got one we should hear? Played any yourself? Let us know in the comments section.

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Arts & Life
9:00 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 8:18 am

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Arts & Life
9:02 am
Wed February 13, 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

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 11:23 am

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

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Arts & Life
9:01 am
Wed February 13, 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 10:52 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.

Arts & Life
9:07 am
Tue February 5, 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 5:43 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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Arts & Life
12:49 pm
Wed January 23, 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 2:10 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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Arts & Life
9:02 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Fond Farewells: Classical Musicians We Lost In 2012

Classical music lost many fine artists in 2012.
Dragan Trifunovic iStock.com

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 4:47 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
2:03 pm
Mon December 24, 2012

Whatever Happened To The Classical Christmas Album?

A sampling of one listener's cherished classical Christmas albums from a few years back.
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 1:38 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
2:04 pm
Sun December 9, 2012

A Bald Mezzo And Three Shades Of Violin: Classical Favorites From 2012

On Silfra, violinist Hilary Hahn improvises with prepared pianist Hauschka.
DG

Originally published on Sun December 9, 2012 6:09 pm

From mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli's ambitious revival of the early Baroque composer Agostino Stefani (and yes, she's got another outrageous album cover) to three very different roles for the violin, here's a clutch of classical albums I returned to again and again this year for sheer delight and aural inspiration. Bartoli lavishes extravagant attention on the music of a fascinating but forgotten link in the history of opera.

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Arts & Life
9:17 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Michel Van Der Aa Wins The Grawemeyer Award For Music

Dutch composer Michel van der Aa, winner of the 2013 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition.
Marco Borggreve courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun November 25, 2012 9:33 pm

Up-close, a multi-disciplinary work by Dutch composer and director Michel van der Aa that combines a piercing cello concerto with an enigmatic silent film, has won the prestigious Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition. The prize, which carries with it $100,000, was announced this evening by the University of Louisville, which sponsors the honor.

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Arts & Life
9:03 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Calculated Instability: The Pioneering Sonatas Of C.P.E. Bach

The special effects in Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach's music helped forge a new cutting-edge style.
De Agostini/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 7:56 am

If Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach wrote a dull piece of music, I've not yet heard it. And even if there is a workaday piece or two lurking within his 300 keyboard sonatas, you certainly won't find it on this new album by British pianist Danny Driver, who deftly uncovers the surprising restlessness of the music.

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Arts & Life
9:53 am
Tue November 6, 2012

Elliott Carter, Giant Of American Music, Dies At 103

Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 7:08 pm

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Arts & Life
9:03 am
Thu October 25, 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
9:03 am
Tue October 23, 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

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 4:00 pm

Twenty-five years ago today, Houston Grand Opera mounted the world premiere of Nixon in China, the first opera by a young composer named John Adams. Two days later, The New York Times described it as a "coy and insubstantial work" and "hardly a strong candidate for the standard repertory."

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