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
9:55 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Marches Madness: Mahler's Twisted Nursery Rhyme

Mahler's ironic funeral march, in his first symphony, was inspired by this woodcut of forest animals bearing the hunter to his grave.
wikimedia commons

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Deceptive Cadence
9:24 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 10:04 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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Deceptive Cadence
9:34 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Marches Madness: Freshly Squeezed Oranges In 4/4 Time

For his zany opera The Love for Three Oranges, Prokofiev wrote a little march that made it big.
Alexey Stiop iStockphoto.com

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Deceptive Cadence
12:44 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Tell Us: Are Ballet And Opera Elitist?

In an age when we are hearing more music than ever, are opera and ballet elitist?
Carolina K. Smith iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 1:10 pm

It's a question virtually as old as the art forms themselves: Are ballet and opera elitist?

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Deceptive Cadence
9:51 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Marches Madness: Walk Like An Egyptian

Verdi's opera Aida, set in the time of the Pharaohs, is known for its extravagance, yet its "Triumphal March" is surprisingly simple.
iStockphoto.com

Elephants, Egyptian palaces, politics and love triangles — now we're talking grand opera!

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Deceptive Cadence
9:27 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Marches Madness: Off With His Head!

In Hector Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique, he imagines his own march to the guillotine.
Rischgitz Getty Images

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Deceptive Cadence
1:55 pm
Tue March 5, 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 3:17 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
3:11 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

'Thank You For That Gift': Memories Of Van Cliburn From Medalists

Van Cliburn in concert in 1993.
Ron Jenkins

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 4:42 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
8:03 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 9:18 am

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Deceptive Cadence
4:45 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

The Operatic Potential Of DSK, A Modern Don Giovanni

Disgraced former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn leaves court in Paris Tuesday after attending a hearing regarding his seizure request for a new book by Argentinian-born Marcela Iacub detailing their liason.
Kenzo Tribouillard AFP/Getty Images

If I wrote operas, my next work would be called DSKNY. That's a snazzy abbreviation for Dominique Strauss-Kahn New York. The idea came last night when colleagues invited me for cocktails at the Sofitel Hotel, the site of DSK's alleged sexual assault of a hotel maid in 2011, and the beginning of his fall from grace.

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Deceptive Cadence
12:25 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Nordic Symphonies And A $100 Guitar: Music We Love Now

Conductor Colin Davis concludes his cycle of Carl Nielsen's symphonies with the London Symphony Orchestra.
LSO Live

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 12:08 pm

Turn your ears toward three albums now tickling ours: clever Nielsen, glowing Finland and one battered electric guitar.

Deceptive Cadence
12:08 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Measures Of Affection: Five Musical Love Letters

Composer Peter Lieberson wrote his Neruda Songs for his wife, mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson.
Johansen Krause Peter Lieberson

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 12:21 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
3:17 pm
Tue February 12, 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 11:52 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.

Deceptive Cadence
12:23 pm
Mon February 11, 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

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

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Classics in Concert
11:53 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 Fri February 8, 2013 3:00 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
2:33 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 6:43 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
2:38 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 5:05 pm

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Classics in Concert
1:04 pm
Wed January 23, 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 Thu May 16, 2013 10:37 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
12:45 pm
Tue January 22, 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 3:10 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
7:03 am
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 12:51 pm

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
11:34 am
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 9:09 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
11:49 am
Thu January 10, 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 9:13 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
4:19 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Echoes Of 2012: A Classical Music Quiz

Gustavo Dudamel conducts Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela at Carnegie Hall.
Ramin Talaie NPR

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 11:50 am

While the new year is still fresh, let's take a look in the rearview mirror at some of the noteworthy happenings in the classical music world. Were you listening last year? See if you remember the big, and not-so-big, stories from 2012 in our quiz.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Deceptive Cadence
4:57 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

In January's Drought, Three Albums Worth Waiting For

Classical pianist Simone Dinnerstein and singer-songwriter Tift Merritt have an album coming out in March.
Sony Classical

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 9:17 am

In high season, as many as two dozen albums appear in my mail bin each week. But in the first weeks of any new year, new releases are a rarity. That means patiently waiting for 2013's first intriguing albums to arrive. As a sort of appetizer, we offer three tracks from albums I'm really looking forward to. These artists (and their record companies) have generously allowed us these tantalizing tastes of what's to come.

Any releases you're impatiently awaiting? Let us know in the comments section.

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Deceptive Cadence
4:20 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

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 5:47 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
11:06 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 2:38 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
3:38 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Outspoken Russian Diva And Muse Galina Vishnevskaya Dies At 86

Soprano Galina Vishnevskaya was once caleld the "Russian Maria Callas" for her intense interpretations.
Capitol Records, Inc, courtesy of EMI Classics

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Deceptive Cadence
11:21 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Musicians Remember Elliott Carter

Prominent musicians remember American composer Elliott Carter (who would have turned 104 today) through his music. Carter died last month.
Erich Auerbach Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 11:39 am

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Deceptive Cadence
11:12 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Soprano Lisa Della Casa, Strauss And Mozart Specialist, Dies At 93

Swiss soprano Lisa Della Casa's sweet and silvery voice was perfect for the music of Richard Strauss.
Erich Auerbach Getty Images

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

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