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
12:31 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Canadian Olympians: Win Or Lose, They Play A Good Tune

Canadian rower — and classically trained pianist — Michael Braithwaite hopes for gold Wednesday.
Courtesy of Michael Braithwaite

Originally published on Sat August 4, 2012 1:04 am

Canadian rower Michael Braithwaite is pumped and probably a little nervous. It's the day before the double sculls (two person team) competition at the London Olympics and the British Columbia native is hoping his strong arms and shoulders will bring him gold.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:11 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

The 2012 Classical Olympians Puzzler

Some characters in classical music have Olympian athletic abilities.
Julia Vynokurova Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 2:52 pm

The grumbling of Londoners and the off-putting remarks of Mitt Romney are all but forgotten now as the 2012 Summer Olympics are in spectacular full swing. From here on out the race for the gold continues.

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Deceptive Cadence
3:44 pm
Mon July 23, 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 6:24 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
10:36 am
Wed July 18, 2012

The Operatic Occupations Puzzler

Jose Carbo (left) is the wily title character in a Sydney Opera House production of Rossini's Il barbieri di Siviglia.
Patrick Riviere Getty Images

Jobs, jobs, jobs. Who needs them, who's going to get them and who might lose them? It's a hot topic on the campaign trail. With the addition of only about 80,000 jobs last month, the June unemployment rate remained at a stubborn 8.2 percent.

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Deceptive Cadence
11:01 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Young Conductor Steers A Vivid, Drug-Addled Dream

Robin Ticciati conducts beyond his years in a debut recording with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
Marco Borggreve

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 10:20 am

Robin Ticciati is the principal conductor of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and principal guest conductor of the Bamberg Symphony in Germany. He's conducted at the Metropolitan Opera and just finished a run of Britten's Peter Grimes at La Scala. Ticciati has also been tapped to take over England's storied Glyndebourne Festival Opera in 2014. And did I mention he's under 30?

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Deceptive Cadence
1:23 pm
Thu July 12, 2012

Get Out And Hear Music: Classical Summer Festivals 2012

Music and food mix well on the lawn of the Ravinia Festival outside Chicago. This year's edition runs through Sept. 9.
Ravinia Festival

Originally published on Thu July 12, 2012 6:17 pm

With the July Fourth holiday behind us, now is the time to map out a musical adventure. Below is a sampling of just a few of the dozens of summer classical music festivals around the country, grouped by region. From outdoor extravaganzas and picturesque locales to intimate indoor settings, live music thrives in the summertime. Been to a good summer fest not listed here? Tell us all about it.

EAST

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Deceptive Cadence
4:17 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

Copland's 'Lincoln Portrait': Honest Abe's Oratory, Tailored For Orchestra

Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 12:39 pm

Brooklyn-born Aaron Copland was an American original in more ways than one. It's not just his music, with its openness and simple elegance. It's that he expected ballet dancers to act like cowboys, pianists to play blues and orchestra players to accompany political speechmaking. His Lincoln Portrait, composed during World War II, matches words from our 16th president with symphonic music.

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Deceptive Cadence
12:58 pm
Fri June 29, 2012

Jonathan Biss Embraces Beethoven

Mito-Habe Evans NPR

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 4:26 pm

Every musician practices differently. Some turn their own living rooms into rehearsal spaces. Others, like pianist Jonathan Biss, prefer to step out of the comforts of home and into a studio. "It's a more productive way of working," Biss told us as we barged in with cameras and microphones.

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Deceptive Cadence
9:56 am
Wed June 27, 2012

New York Polyphony's Living Room Madrigal

Mito-Habe Evans NPR

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 4:41 pm

For New York Polyphony, it's location, location, location. The four-man vocal ensemble thrives on music from the Renaissance, much of it designed for cavernous, reverberant spaces. Think voices soaring through arched cathedrals. But madrigals by Flemish composer Orlando di Lasso, with their more intimate storytelling vibe, are suited for smaller venues — like, say, the living room of New York Polyphony bass Craig Phillips.

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Deceptive Cadence
8:05 am
Mon June 25, 2012

Jeremy Denk's Joyfully Mad Ligeti

Mito-Habe Evans NPR

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 4:41 pm

Armed with cameras and microphones, we recently invaded the rehearsal spaces of prominent musicians. The result is "In Practice," a new series of videos you can watch here.

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