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
2:41 pm
Sat May 5, 2012

Fireworks From Cuba, And Schubert That Grooves: New Classical Albums

The new album by The Knights, A Second of Silence, celebrates Schubert and more modern but like-minded composers.
Ancalagon Records

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 6:37 pm

Although it always seems fashionable to forecast the downfall of classical music, enterprising musicians both young and not so young continue to make deeply satisfying recordings. For this visit to weekends on All Things Considered, I was delighted to uncover the little known (at least in this country) Jorge Luis Prats, a terrifically talented Cuban pianist whose once uncertain career appears to be resurging — at 55, he has signed a handsome record deal. Then there's The Knights, a young chamber orchestra with a postmodern take on Schubert.

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Deceptive Cadence
12:01 pm
Mon April 30, 2012

Add Verse Reactions: The Poetry Month Music Puzzler

Test your knowledge of American composers and poetry with this interactive puzzler.
L. Brinck iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon April 30, 2012 3:45 pm

Poetry month is almost at an end,

So here's a little challenge for you, friend.

Listen close to the music clips below,

The words will tell you what you need to know.

Match music with the image of each bard,

Good luck — you'll need it 'cause the quiz is hard.

A hint that may help you along the way,

Both words and music hail from U.S.A.

An extra point if you think you know 'em ...

Identify the name of each poem.

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Deceptive Cadence
4:48 pm
Wed April 25, 2012

Talk Like An Opera Geek: Game-Changing Composers In Postwar Europe

György Ligeti's surreal opera Le Grand Macabre was the hit of the New York Philharmonic's 2009-2010 season, in a semi-staged production that featured Barbara Hannigan (left) as Gepopo and Anthony Roth Costanzo as Prince Go-Go.
Chris Lee New York Philharmonic

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

Although a few radical composers had no use for opera in the mid-20th century (like Pierre Boulez, who infamously advocated blowing up the world's opera houses), the art form in Europe brushed itself off and began to thrive again after World War II.

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Deceptive Cadence
9:58 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Bang On A Concerto: A New Percussion Piece By Rautavaara

Einojuhani Rautavaara, the elder statetsman of Finnish composers, has written a dynamic percussion concerto for Colin Currie.
Sakari Viika Ondine Records

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 3:09 pm

Pity the poor percussionist in Mozart's day. He didn't have much to do in the orchestra, save for the occasional punctuating roll of the kettledrum (usually supporting a burst of brass) or the rare ping of a triangle.

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Classics in Concert
3:11 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Hear The Opera That Just Won The Pulitzer

Kevin Puts' Pulitzer-winning opera recounts a spontaneous cease-fire among Scottish, French and German troups during World War I.
Michal Daniel Minnesota Opera

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 1:51 pm

New York-based composer and Peabody Institute faculty member Kevin Puts has won the Pulitizer Prize for music with Silent Night, his first opera. The work received its world premiere in November at the Minnesota Opera in St. Paul.

Pulitzer officials described Silent Night as "a stirring opera that recounts the true story of a spontaneous cease-fire among Scottish, French and Germans during World War I, displaying versatility of style and cutting straight to the heart."

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