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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Classics in Concert
10:51 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 Tue July 8, 2014 12:08 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
2:07 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 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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Deceptive Cadence
7:03 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 4:05 pm

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Classics in Concert
1:57 pm
Thu January 24, 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 Mon June 23, 2014 9:05 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
10:05 am
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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Deceptive Cadence
12:12 pm
Sat January 19, 2013

Obama's 'Hope And Virtue' Distilled In A Song

Martin Luther King Jr. waves to supporters during the 1963 March on Washington and President Barack Obama speaks at his first inauguration in 2009.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 11:51 am

On Jan. 20, 2009, Barack Obama was sworn in as the first African-American president of the United States. And Monday, President Obama will be sworn in again — this time on a most auspicious day, the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

In King's most famous speech, he said, "In spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream."

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Deceptive Cadence
4:42 pm
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 8:09 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
6:41 pm
Sun January 13, 2013

Symphonic Resolutions: What's On Your Classical Music Wish List?

Tell us your hopes for classical music in 2013.
Lalito iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 8:13 am

Are you the type to make New Year's resolutions? They're easy to make, but tough to keep — at least when it comes to your own. So how about brainstorming a few resolutions that are a little less personal?

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Deceptive Cadence
11:51 am
Mon December 17, 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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