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
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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Deceptive Cadence
4:05 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
11:20 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
9:38 am
Fri September 14, 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
8:51 am
Thu September 6, 2012

Why The Atlanta Symphony Matters: Five Recordings For The Lockout

Robert Spano conducts members of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, who are currently in a lock out labor dispute.
J.D. Scott Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 2:50 pm

With just a month to go before opening its 68th season, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra has gone silent. A bitter labor dispute between the ASO musicians and orchestra management has resulted in a lockout — meaning the players have literally been prevented from entering the Woodruff Arts Center and stripped of their salaries and health benefits.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:51 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

Guest DJ: Decoding Debussy With Pierre-Laurent Aimard

Claude Debussy (1862-1918) ignored the old rules about how to write music and created a brave new world of sonic possibilities.
adoc-photos Corbis

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 2:55 pm

In the western suburbs of Paris 150 years ago today, a boy was born to an unassuming couple, proprietors of a china shop who had no great taste for music. But that little boy felt otherwise, and grew up to write music of bold color, timbre and harmonic daring.

Claude Debussy ignored the old rules about how to write music and in the process created a brave new world of sonic possibilities.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:15 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Making A Case For Massenet, The Misunderstood Sentimentalist

French composer Jules Massenet died 100 years ago, leaving the opera world with a wealth of elegantly composed dramas.
Topical Press Agency Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 10:07 am

Poor Jules Massenet. How could the most successful French opera composer of his generation fall so far out of fashion? Perhaps the new 23-CD box set of Massenet's music, marking the 100th anniversary of his death (yesterday), holds some clues.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:30 pm
Sun August 5, 2012

Headbanging Bruckner And Debussy In Black And White: New Classical Albums

The young pianist Inon Barnatan plays Debussy and Ravel with striking assurance.
Avie Records

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 4:14 pm

Some people are intimidated by the vastness of classical music. And while the prospect of more than 1,000 years of hits to consider may be daunting, just think instead of how many musical journeys of discovery can be made.

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Deceptive Cadence
8:52 am
Thu July 26, 2012

A Know-It-All's Guide To Olympic Music

Among all things official at the Olympics, like the flag, is music composed for the opening and closing ceremonies.
Tony Duffy Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 5:24 pm

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