Tom Huizenga

Tom Huizenga appears in the following:

What We Love And Hate About 'Mozart In The Jungle'

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Pill popping, pot smoking, back-stabbing, bed hopping and tantrum throwing — now we're talking classical music! At least that's what the new Amazon series Mozart in the Jungle would have us believe is all in a day's work for orchestra musicians. The 10-part series is based on a tell-all book ...


Swan Songs: Classical Musicians We Lost In 2014

Friday, January 09, 2015

Farewells are never easy, especially when you're saying goodbye to a favorite musician. From conductors and composers to pianists, singers and critics, the classical music world lost many masterful musicians in 2014.

Through their performances and recordings, we grow into strong relationships with our favorites. Some, like the conductor and ...


Getting Off To A Good Start: A New Year's Puzzler

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

It's another new year and with it comes more resolutions, decisions and responsibilities.

How do you get off to a good start? That's a question many composers ask themselves when writing a piece of music. Some dive right in — BAM! Others ease into a new composition gently. See if ...


Best Classical Albums Of 2014

Friday, December 12, 2014

Most years, Tom Huizenga and I spend a lot of time after Thanksgiving and well into December battling over — or, more truthfully, having many friendly but spirited discussions about — which recordings should comprise our 10 favorites of the year. We each come up with a list of 10, ...


Dublin Guitar Quartet: Tiny Desk Concert

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Don't ask the members of the Dublin Guitar Quartet to play the time-honored classics of the Spanish repertoire. They might play traditional Spanish style classical guitars, but they're not your standard guitar ensemble. The Dubliners are strictly devoted to contemporary music. They've been commissioning new pieces and adapting others for ...


Guest DJ Jessye Norman: From Augusta To Valhalla

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

When it comes to sheer vocal opulence, it's tough to top Jessye Norman. There's a majesty and intimacy in her voice — immense as the Grand Canyon yet warm and confidential. The five-time Grammy winner is one of the most celebrated opera singers of our time. This year ...


Roomful Of Teeth: Tiny Desk Concert

Monday, November 10, 2014

Mix a bit of yodeling with Tuvan throat singing, add in a pinch of Sardinian cantu a tenore, fold in compositions from cutting-edge composers and you have the vocal group Roomful of Teeth. This eight-voice ensemble, which includes the 2013 Pulitzer Prize-winning composer


Sax Ed: The NPR Music Saxophone Quiz

Thursday, November 06, 2014

In November 1814, Col. Andrew Jackson marched on Pensacola, taking the Florida city away from Britain and Spain, while the Congress of Vienna was busy drawing new boundaries after the Napoleonic Wars. And 200 years ago today, in a little 10th-century town south of Brussels, Adolphe Sax was born.

Sax ...


Ghosts In The Music: A Spooky Songs Quiz

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Where would Halloween be without ghosts — those wispy spirits either friendly or fiendish in disposition? They've haunted our consciousness for ages, thanks to appearances in visual art, literature, film and music. And now they've overrun this puzzler. From country and classical to rock and jazz, ghosts glide through these ...


Danish String Quartet: Tiny Desk Concert

Saturday, October 25, 2014

An abundance of facial hair is not restricted to the sensitive male indie-rocker set. Three of the four players in the Danish String Quartet could easily pass for hipster Brooklyn beard farmers. "We are simply your friendly neighborhood string quartet with above average amounts of beard," the group's website says.



After 200 Years, A Schubert Song Still Resonates

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Two hundred years ago today, a 17-year-old kid from Vienna wrote a song that would change the way composers thought about songwriting. That kid was Franz Schubert, and his song "Gretchen am Spinnrade" (Gretchen at the Spinning Wheel) put German art song — or lieder as ...


Everything You Wanted To Know About Classical Music (But Weren't Afraid To Ask)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A few weeks ago, in an act of brazen thievery, your devoted NPR Classical hosts appropriated an idea from our colleague Bob Mondello, NPR's film critic. Each Friday he tweets movie suggestions for the weekend. Realizing we could easily capitalize on his brilliance (less work for ...


If It's Not Scottish ... Classical Contributions Of The Scots

Friday, September 19, 2014

The votes are in. The people of Scotland have chosen to remain in the United Kingdom. To mark the historic occasion, a wee reminder of what the Scots have contributed to classical music is in order.

When British classical music gets mentioned, the big guns always come to mind — ...


Gotta Know Mexico: A Mexican Music Puzzler

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Today is Mexican Independence Day. On Sept. 16, 1810, the Grito de Dolores ("Cry of Dolores") was delivered in the town of Dolores near the city of Guanajuato, marking the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence that ended Spanish rule.

To celebrate, we've got a few gritos ...


Listen To The Atlanta Symphony While It's Locked Out — Again

Friday, September 12, 2014

Alas, it is déjà vu all over again for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. At midnight Saturday, the ASO musicians and management failed to meet the deadline to agree on a new contract after eight months of negotiations. That means the players, while still employees of the orchestra, are effectively locked ...


Enduringly Dramatic Italian Soprano Magda Olivero Dies At 104

Monday, September 08, 2014

One of the last great Italian divas, and one of opera's most thrilling voices, has finally gone silent. Soprano Magda Olivero died in Milan, Italy today, according to multiple media organizations including the newspaper La Repubblica. She was 104. Olivero never had a glitzy recording career, but she did have ...


Great Expectations: A New Season of New Music

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Musicologist and pianist Charles Rosen once quipped: "The death of classical music is perhaps its oldest continuing tradition." But it's tough to see much gloom when faced with the diversity of premieres and provocative programming around the country in the 2014-2015 season.

John Adams reboots the Thousand and One Nights ...


A Surge Of Scarlatti Sonatas

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Three centuries ago a man named Domenico Scarlatti churned out an enormous number of keyboard sonatas — more than 550. Pianists, harpsichordists and even accordionists still can't get enough these inventive, bite-sized pieces.

A clutch of Scarlatti albums have appeared this year and more are on the way. ...


Enigmatic Endings: A Farewell To Summer Quiz

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Well, it's happened again. Vacations are over. Kids are returning to school. "And where," you're wondering, "did my summer go?"

You can get the same feeling in music sometimes. No matter how long a piece is, its end might sneak up on you. Try this mysterious little quiz filled with ...


Masters And Disasters: The Met Opera Quiz

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Now that the embattled Metropolitan Opera has surmounted most of its labor squabbles, it's time to take a break from reading about the rancorous negotiations. See how many of these nerdworthy Met questions you can answer. Score high and bellow out your best Wagnerian "Hojotoho!" Score low and ...