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
9:18 am
Mon January 16, 2012

Around The Classical Internet: January 13, 2011

In better days, a New York City Opera attendee takes in a display about the beleagured company's rich history.
courtesy of New York City Opera

Originally published on Fri January 13, 2012 6:15 pm

  • As of Monday, New York City Opera had locked out orchestra and chorus members though the company's first production of the 2011-12 season, a weeklong run of La Traviata at the Brooklyn Academy of Music scheduled to begin Feb. 12. Risa Heller, a spokeswoman for the opera, says City Opera is taking things 'one day at a time.' But with a first performance scheduled for Feb. 12 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, time is running out.
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Deceptive Cadence
3:25 pm
Wed January 11, 2012

My Holidays With Loriot

German comedian Loriot.
Flickr Creative Commons

Originally published on Wed January 11, 2012 1:16 pm

Before I touched down in Germany for another Christmas and New Year's with my wife's family, I had never heard of Bernard Victor Christoph Carl von Bülow.

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Deceptive Cadence
8:06 am
Wed January 11, 2012

Janáček For Voices: The Choral Side Of An Unusual Composer

A new album by Cappella Amsterdam explores rarely performed choral music by Leos Janáček.
Marco Borggreve Harmonia Mundi

Originally published on Tue January 10, 2012 3:00 pm

There was nothing ordinary about Czech composer Leos Janáček. He set one opera in a barnyard and another on the moon. He fell for a married woman more than 30 years his junior, proceeding to write more than 700 love letters. And in his mid-60s, he churned out piece after amazing piece in one of classical music's most impressive late surges.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:35 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

Pianist Alexis Weissenberg Dies At 82

Alexis Weissenberg's skill at playing Schubert on the accordion saved his life during World War II.
Patrick Kovarik AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 8:51 am

The Bulgarian-born pianist Alexis Weissenberg, whose musical talent as a youngster probably saved his life and that of his mother, died Sunday at age 82.

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Deceptive Cadence
12:40 pm
Sun December 11, 2011

Clouds, Concertos And A Trip To Fiji: New Classical Albums

Cloud and Light, by Tshio Hosokawa, was written for the ancient Japanes instrument called the sho.
ECM

Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 2:07 pm

With all the chatter about the death of the compact disc, anxiety in the recording industry and the domination of downloads, the flood of CDs overflowing my mailbox never seems to recede. Need a new Bruckner 4th, an Adès anthology or piano music by Pärt? How about Azerbaijani concertos, Schubert sonatas or a new Midsummer Night's Dream?

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Deceptive Cadence
2:18 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

NPR Classical's 10 Favorite Albums Of 2011

Fiction by the Ebene Quartet was one of our favorite albums this year.
Virgin Classics

Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 12:41 pm

The silly season of endless lists is upon us. You might notice that here at Deceptive Cadence, we don't even try to enumerate which albums were "best" — we use the word "favorite" quite intentionally, as you'll see from the pan-genre list painstakingly compiled with our NPR Music colleagues.

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Deceptive Cadence
3:20 pm
Wed November 30, 2011

Talk Like An Opera Geek: Tuning Into Tenors

Tenors may be characterized as head-strong and unpredictable, but they can produce pretty sounds.
iStock

Originally published on Wed November 30, 2011 1:21 pm

(Talk Like An Opera Geek attempts to decode the intriguing and intimidating lexicon of the opera house.)

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Tiny Desk Concerts
10:52 am
Mon November 28, 2011

Gabriel Kahane: Tiny Desk Concert

Cristina M. Fletes/NPR

Originally published on Sat November 26, 2011 12:00 pm

  • Audio Only: Gabriel Kahane's Tiny Desk Concert

Gabriel Kahane seems to enjoy blurring the lines between indie rock and indie classical. He arrived at the NPR Music offices with a string quartet and an electric guitarist in tow, and though they hadn't played together for long, you'd never know it.

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Deceptive Cadence
12:30 pm
Fri November 25, 2011

Remembering Daniel Catan With 'Il Postino'

Charles Castronovo stars as the bashful postman in Daiel Catan's opera, Il Postino.
Robert Milard LA Opera

Originally published on Thu November 24, 2011 6:00 am

December is just around the corner — a time when we look back at musical events, catalog our favorite records of the year and, inevitably, remember musicians who died.

One of 2011's biggest losses was composer Daniel Catán. Tomorrow (Friday the 25th), many PBS stations will broadcast his final opera, Il Postino, in the world premiere LA Opera production starring Placido Domingo.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
3:42 pm
Fri November 18, 2011

Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile And Stuart Duncan: Tiny Desk Concert

Cristina M. Fletes/NPR

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 8:02 am

  • Audio Only: Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile And Stuart Duncan's Tiny Desk Concert

Yo-Yo Ma calls himself a "venture culturalist," and he's got the proof to back it up. He's reached out to a broad range of musicians (and Muppets) to play not just Bach and Beethoven, but also Brazilian samba, Argentine tango, jazz, songs from Sesame Street and a smorgasbord of Asian music with his Silk Road Ensemble.

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