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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
10:19 am
Wed December 5, 2012

A Choral Christmas With Stile Antico

The London-based a cappella choir Stile Antico brings a program of Christmas music to Cambridge, Mass.
Marco Borggreve

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 8:55 pm

Stile Antico is a 13-member a cappella choir based in London. Most of these fresh-faced singers are still in their 20s, but they've already racked up some impressive awards for their recordings — mainly of intricately woven music from the Renaissance.

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Deceptive Cadence
7:56 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Calculated Instability: The Pioneering Sonatas Of C.P.E. Bach

The special effects in Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach's music helped forge a new cutting-edge style.
De Agostini/Getty Images

If Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach wrote a dull piece of music, I've not yet heard it. And even if there is a workaday piece or two lurking within his 300 keyboard sonatas, you certainly won't find it on this new album by British pianist Danny Driver, who deftly uncovers the surprising restlessness of the music.

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Deceptive Cadence
8:16 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Don't Forget The Music: A Well-Seasoned Thanksgiving Soundtrack

Hunting and gathering music for your Thanksgiving holiday? Check out our playlist.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 9:41 am

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Deceptive Cadence
9:50 am
Thu November 15, 2012

From Schubert To Hendrix: Guest DJ Matt Haimovitz

From coffeehouses to punk clubs, Matt Haimovitz has played his cello in some surprising places.
Steph Mackinnon

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 6:49 am

  • Listen To The Session

These days it's not unusual to find classical musicians performing in unlikely venues — pubs, clubs and out-of-the-way places. But long before this trend took hold there was Matt Haimovitz. Ten years ago, the intrepid cellist lugged his instrument across the country, bringing music by J.S. Bach to barrooms, coffeehouses and even Manhattan's famous punk club CBGB.

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Classics in Concert
10:13 am
Wed November 7, 2012

Belcea Quartet Plays Beethoven At Carnegie Hall

The players in the Belcea Quartet played a series of late Beethoven string quartets at Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall.
Melanie Burford NPR

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 1:37 pm

There comes a time in the life of most string quartets when, for better or worse, Beethoven must be confronted. For the acclaimed Belcea Quartet (named after its first violinist Corina Belcea), that time is now. The London-based group, founded at the Royal College of Music in 1994, is thoroughly steeped in Beethoven's 16 string quartets — pieces written throughout the early, middle and late stages of his career in an epic sweep of compositional mastery and imagination.

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Deceptive Cadence
6:55 am
Tue November 6, 2012

Elliott Carter, Giant Of American Music, Dies At 103

Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 7:08 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
10:50 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Pianist Gabriela Montero's Election Improv

Gabriela Montero takes ideas from audience members to create on the spot improvisations.
Colin Bell

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 11:36 am

Few classical musicians these days are serious improvisers — aside from organists and early-music practitioners. But pianist Gabriela Montero is absolutely fearless when it comes to creating a new piece, right out of the air, right on the spot. At her concerts she takes requests from audience members. They can suggest a song for her to improvise on, or simply a topic of interest.

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Deceptive Cadence
7:56 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Requiem For Sandy: What Music Gets You Through?

Little Ferry, N.J., photographed here Oct. 30, 2012, was one of the cities greatly affected by Hurricane Sandy.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

When catastrophe strikes, when lives and livelihoods are lost, we hold tight to family, friends and our deepest beliefs for consolation. We also sometimes turn to music. With its inexpressible power, music can help channel memories, soothe the loss and salve the pain. And it can uplift, reminding us of our resiliency.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:13 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Symphonic Superstorms: A Puzzler

A satellite's view of Hurricane Sandy as it moves inland, Oct. 30, 2012.
NASA Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 4:20 pm

Call it what you want — superstorm, Frankenstorm, post-tropical cyclone — Mother Nature dished out something freakishly fearsome with Hurricane Sandy. It claimed more than 100 lives throughout the Northeast and the Caribbean, while causing what will surely be billions of dollars of damage in the form of washed-out businesses and flood-ravaged homes. It's a history-making hurricane that, alas, will not be soon forgotten.

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Deceptive Cadence
7:55 am
Tue October 30, 2012

Gidon Kremer's Bach Makeover

For violinist Gidon Kremer's new album, he commissioned 11 composers to rework and build on keyboard music by J.S. Bach.
Courtesy of ECM records

Perhaps no other composer's music has been dressed up (and down) in a wider variety of outfits than Johann Sebastian Bach's.

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