Tom Huizenga http://weku.fm en Revved-up Vivaldi, Persian Bamboo And Soaring Spirituals: New Classical Albums http://weku.fm/post/revved-vivaldi-persian-bamboo-and-soaring-spirituals-new-classical-albums It's a brave new musical world. Between downloads, iPods, music sharing websites and the good old CD, we have more easy access to the songs and symphonies we love than ever before. In this visit to <em>All Things Considered</em>, host <a href="http://www.npr.org/people/102444338/jacki-lyden" target="_blank">Jacki Lyden</a> and I explore an East meets West mashup in a concerto for Persian ney (bamboo flute) and orchestra, a young composer who treats electronic and acoustic instruments as equals, an opera star who goes back to church and a violinist who plays Vivaldi with delicious abandon. Sun, 30 Jun 2013 09:00:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 46451 at http://weku.fm Revved-up Vivaldi, Persian Bamboo And Soaring Spirituals: New Classical Albums Vespers, Habaneras And Early Morning Walks: New Classical Albums http://weku.fm/post/vespers-habaneras-and-early-morning-walks-new-classical-albums Robert Frost's famous poem "The Road Not Taken" begins with the line: "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood." Frost's traveler must choose between them. But slide that metaphor over to the world of classical music and you will discover hundreds of paths to explore. Sun, 07 Apr 2013 00:37:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 42359 at http://weku.fm Vespers, Habaneras And Early Morning Walks: New Classical Albums Measures Of Affection: Five Musical Love Letters http://weku.fm/post/measures-affection-five-musical-love-letters <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ht1OkPN6Zso</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hctOXPdaWXk</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Cqz2yomToA</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cibwQFbwEPs</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnKBVL45VSs</p> Thu, 14 Feb 2013 20:54:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 39901 at http://weku.fm Measures Of Affection: Five Musical Love Letters Whatever Happened To The Classical Christmas Album? http://weku.fm/post/what-ever-happened-classical-christmas-album <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rr-csOGecGc</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKvoygXsRV4</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NH4rSCabUWg</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONknTGUckKc</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39h3VVfOoW0</p> Mon, 24 Dec 2012 20:03:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 37540 at http://weku.fm Whatever Happened To The Classical Christmas Album? A Bald Mezzo And Three Shades Of Violin: Classical Favorites From 2012 http://weku.fm/post/bald-mezzo-and-three-shades-violin-classical-favorites-2012 From mezzo-soprano <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15221692/cecilia-bartoli" target="_blank">Cecilia Bartoli</a>'s ambitious revival of the early Baroque composer Agostino Stefani (and yes, she's got another outrageous album cover) to three very different roles for the violin, here's a clutch of classical albums I returned to again and again this year for sheer delight and aural inspiration. Bartoli lavishes extravagant attention on the music of a fascinating but forgotten link in the history of opera. Sun, 09 Dec 2012 20:04:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 36873 at http://weku.fm A Bald Mezzo And Three Shades Of Violin: Classical Favorites From 2012 Elliott Carter, Giant Of American Music, Dies At 103 http://weku.fm/post/elliott-carter-giant-american-music-dies-103 <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1stGn4NA-tU</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwbPwq3-PAs</p> Tue, 06 Nov 2012 20:50:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 35422 at http://weku.fm Headbanging Bruckner And Debussy In Black And White: New Classical Albums http://weku.fm/post/headbanging-bruckner-and-debussy-black-and-white-new-classical-albums Some people are intimidated by the vastness of classical music. And while the prospect of more than 1,000 years of hits to consider may be daunting, just think instead of how many musical journeys of discovery can be made. Sun, 05 Aug 2012 19:30:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 30709 at http://weku.fm Headbanging Bruckner And Debussy In Black And White: New Classical Albums A Know-It-All's Guide To Olympic Music http://weku.fm/post/know-it-alls-guide-olympic-music <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IizWc4cJwbw</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xio0TcKhRUI</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZARDqznfyo</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YdgWWaH7UM</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsB4a--WRTs</p> Thu, 26 Jul 2012 13:52:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 30186 at http://weku.fm A Know-It-All's Guide To Olympic Music Fireworks From Cuba, And Schubert That Grooves: New Classical Albums http://weku.fm/post/fireworks-cuba-and-schubert-grooves-new-classical-albums 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<em> All Things Considered</em>, 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. Sat, 05 May 2012 19:41:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 26000 at http://weku.fm Fireworks From Cuba, And Schubert That Grooves: New Classical Albums From Hyperpianos To Harmonious Handel: New Classical Albums http://weku.fm/post/hyperpianos-harmonious-handel-new-classical-albums What's the saying — the more things change, the more they stay the same? It seems that's how it goes in the ways we make music. MIT futurologist <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/97057424/tod-machover" target="_blank">Tod Machover</a> rethinks traditional instruments, coming up with new things like the hyperpiano; Pianist Michael Chertock gives it a go in an explosive excerpt below. Sun, 12 Feb 2012 17:51:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 21306 at http://weku.fm From Hyperpianos To Harmonious Handel: New Classical Albums Clouds, Concertos And A Trip To Fiji: New Classical Albums http://weku.fm/post/clouds-concertos-and-trip-fiji-new-classical-albums With all the chatter about the death of the compact disc, anxiety in the recording industry and the domination of downloads, the flood of CDs overflowing my mailbox never seems to recede. Need a new <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/91476244/anton-bruckner" target="_blank">Bruckner</a> 4th, an <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/126030662/thomas-ades" target="_blank">Adès</a> anthology or piano music by Pärt? How about Azerbaijani concertos, <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15044271/franz-schubert" target="_blank">Schubert</a> sonatas or a new <em>Midsummer Night's Dream</em>? Sun, 11 Dec 2011 18:40:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 17803 at http://weku.fm Clouds, Concertos And A Trip To Fiji: New Classical Albums Joseph Calleja: The Young Tenor With The Old-School Sound http://weku.fm/post/joseph-calleja-young-tenor-old-school-sound Opera fanatics often trot out the tired old complaint about how "they don't make 'em like they used to" while pining for the great singers of the past. But as an unabashed opera nerd, I can tell you that the sound of the "golden age" is alive in the voice of tenor <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/129156156/joseph-calleja" target="_blank">Joseph Calleja</a>. Wed, 19 Oct 2011 22:43:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 14661 at http://weku.fm Joseph Calleja: The Young Tenor With The Old-School Sound Poulenc, Palestrina And Two-By-Fours: New Classical Albums http://weku.fm/post/poulenc-palestrina-and-two-fours-new-classical-albums The news may bring us stories of bankrupt symphony orchestras, floundering opera companies and shuttered record stores, but musicians keep making excellent recordings, often releasing them on small labels. That's the thread running through the broad range of classical albums that NPR Music's Tom Huizenga spins for<em> Weekend All Things Considered</em> host Guy Raz. The independent, Paris-based Zig Zag Territories label has released a sparkling new recording of Poulenc's Concerto for Two Pianos with the innovative original instruments band Anima Eterna. Sat, 23 Jul 2011 19:17:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 9223 at http://weku.fm Poulenc, Palestrina And Two-By-Fours: New Classical Albums Making A Case For Menotti http://weku.fm/post/making-case-menotti One hundred years ago, in a country town on Italy's Lake Lugano, Gian Carlo Menotti was born. It didn't take long before little Gian Carlo took pen to music paper. By the time he entered the Milan Conservatory at age 13, he'd already composed two operas.<p>On the 100th anniversary of the composer's birth, <em>Morning Edition</em> music commentator Miles Hoffman makes a case for Menotti as one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century.<p>"He was a pioneer," Hoffman says. Thu, 07 Jul 2011 04:01:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 8025 at http://weku.fm Making A Case For Menotti What Are Your Sounds Of Summer? http://weku.fm/post/what-are-your-sounds-summer It wasn't summer yet, but it sure felt like it. Earlier this month, here in Washington, D.C., the temperatures were scorching, nearly breaking the 102-degree record set in 1874 when Ulysses S. Grant was president. Summer officially arrives here tomorrow — at 1:16 p.m. EDT to be exact.<p>Various aspects of the summer season have inspired composers. Some, such as Brahms and Mahler, just needed to get away from the heat and the hubbub — usually to bucolic settings near lakes — to compose in peace. Mon, 20 Jun 2011 17:50:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 6955 at http://weku.fm What Are Your Sounds Of Summer? NPR Classical's Best Albums Of The Year (So Far) http://weku.fm/post/npr-classicals-best-albums-year-so-far In our relentless quest to tabulate, rank and arrange everything in tidy little lists, we compulsive staffers at NPR Music have devised both a multi-genre collection of <a href="http://www.npr.org/series/137082810/npr-musics-25-favorite-albums-of-2011-so-far" target="_blank">our favorite 25 records</a> of the year (so far) and a <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/allsongs/2011/06/14/137038730/vote-for-the-years-best-music-so-far" target="_blank">giant ballot</a> where you can cast votes for your own.<p>Here in the expansive classical music wing (in other words, Tom and Anastasia's desks) we for Wed, 15 Jun 2011 15:23:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 6510 at http://weku.fm NPR Classical's Best Albums Of The Year (So Far) Charlie Siem: Tiny Desk Concert http://weku.fm/post/charlie-siem-tiny-desk-concert Charlie Siem is, literally, the very model of a modern major violin star. At just 25, he's already appeared on the world's great concert stages, as well as the pages of <em>Italian Men's Vogue</em> magazine. He's also the 2011 spokesman for <a href="http://thefashionisto.com/dunhill-spring-2011-campaign-preview-charlie-siem-by-david-sims/" target="_blank">Dunhill</a>, the men's fashion house. Wed, 15 Jun 2011 13:38:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 6495 at http://weku.fm Charlie Siem: Tiny Desk Concert Stravinsky's 'Petrushka' At 100: A Composer Finds His Voice http://weku.fm/post/stravinskys-petrushka-100-composer-finds-his-voice <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15162684/igor-stravinsky" target="_blank">Igor Stravinsky</a> was all of 28 years old in 1910 when he landed his first big hit, the ballet score to <em>The Firebird</em>, composed for the Ballets Russes, the influential dance company based in Paris.<p>Although the ballet's success changed Stravinsky's life forever, the music was not quite yet what we'd call (or even what the composer himself would call) "vintage Stravinsky." In <em>The Firebird</em>, the young composer dazzlingly displays all he absorbed, in style and form, from his mentors — tell-tale sign Mon, 13 Jun 2011 18:22:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 6321 at http://weku.fm Stravinsky's 'Petrushka' At 100: A Composer Finds His Voice Classical And Indie Rock Collide On The Big Screen in 'Downtown Express' http://weku.fm/post/classical-and-indie-rock-collide-big-screen-downtown-express The story of the new film <em><em>Downtown Express</em></em>, which had its Manhattan premiere last night, is easily summarized: Sasha, a young Russian violinist, comes to New York with his culturally disoriented cellist father and a quirky violinist cousin.<p>Pressured by both his father and his Juilliard School accompanist/mentor to climb the classical career ladder, Sasha encounters Ramona, a quirky singer-songwriter as lost as he is, played by downtown darling <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15318718/nellie-mckay" target="_blank">Nellie McKay</a>. Wed, 08 Jun 2011 22:05:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga & Anastasia Tsioulcas 5913 at http://weku.fm Classical And Indie Rock Collide On The Big Screen in 'Downtown Express' George Szell: One Conductor's Long-Haul Commitment http://weku.fm/post/george-szell-one-conductors-long-haul-commitment Today marks the birth date of Hungarian-born conductor and pianist <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/91211256/george-szell" target="_blank">George Szell</a>. It's not a round-numbered anniversary (the 114th), but there is a birthday present of sorts — a brand new biography. Tue, 07 Jun 2011 20:09:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 5795 at http://weku.fm George Szell: One Conductor's Long-Haul Commitment Classical Lost And Found: The Sweet Serenades Of Robert Fuchs http://weku.fm/post/classical-lost-and-found-sweet-serenades-robert-fuchs In his day, Austrian-born Robert Fuchs was known more as a distinguished pedagogue than as a composer. He counted <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/16039387/gustav-mahler" target="_blank">Gustav Mahler</a>, <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15161600/jean-sibelius" target="_blank">Jean Sibelius</a>, Franz Schmidt, Max Steiner and Erich Wolfgang Korngold among his students. Mon, 06 Jun 2011 15:06:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 5661 at http://weku.fm Classical Lost And Found: The Sweet Serenades Of Robert Fuchs Around The Classical Internet: June 3, 2011 http://weku.fm/post/around-classical-internet-june-3-2011 <ul><p><li>Metropolitan Opera chief Peter Gelb on Anna Netrebko and Joseph Calleja pulling out of the summer tour to Japan: "Anything can happen in the volcanic world of opera, and with this tour it seems that our volcano has <a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/classical/news/opera-stars-pull-out-of-tour-of-japan-over-radiation-fears-2291524.html" target="_blank">momentarily erupted</a>." </li><p><li>Bass <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/deceptivecadence/2011/06/01/136854475/bass-giorgio-tozzi-dies-at-88" target="_blank">Giorgio Tozzi</a> passed away at age 88; his long a Sat, 04 Jun 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga & Anastasia Tsioulcas 5562 at http://weku.fm Around The Classical Internet: June 3, 2011 The Official James Levine Puzzler http://weku.fm/post/official-james-levine-puzzler Poor James Levine. One minute he's praised, the next he's condemned. Last night many PBS stations aired the documentary <a href="http://video.pbs.org/video/1963748401" target="_blank"><em>James Levine: America's Maestro</em></a>. That's got to feel good. So too would the publication last month of the coffee table book <em>James Levine: 40 Years at the Metropolitan Opera</em>, not to mention the lavish new 21-DVD and 32-CD boxed sets of his Met years. Thu, 02 Jun 2011 21:42:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 5424 at http://weku.fm The Official James Levine Puzzler Maryland Doctor Wins Van Cliburn Amateur Piano Competition http://weku.fm/post/maryland-doctor-wins-van-cliburn-amateur-piano-competition Christopher Shih, a 38-year-old gastroenterologist from Ellicott City, Md. says the only time he finds to practice the piano is at night, after he puts the kids to bed. But all that late-night practicing has paid off. Shih has won the sixth <a href="http://cliburn.org/" target="_blank">Van Cliburn International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs.</a><p>Shih beat 70 of the world's best non-professional pianists, including a lawyer from Hong Kong, a telecommunications manager from Mexico and, in the final round, a Formula 1 race car designer from the U.K. Tue, 31 May 2011 17:20:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 5147 at http://weku.fm Maryland Doctor Wins Van Cliburn Amateur Piano Competition Where Jazz Meets Classical, In A 'Caribbean Rhapsody' http://weku.fm/post/where-jazz-meets-classical-caribbean-rhapsody Any new recording from the spectacular saxophonist <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15295544/james-carter" target="_blank">James Carter</a> is pretty much guaranteed to produce fireworks. But his new album, <em>Caribbean Rhapsody</em>, is his grandest work yet: It's a collaboration with the Puerto Rican classical composer Roberto Sierra. Thu, 26 May 2011 20:46:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga & Patrick Jarenwattananon 4753 at http://weku.fm Where Jazz Meets Classical, In A 'Caribbean Rhapsody' Connecting Kids With Classical Music: Here's What You Told Us http://weku.fm/post/connecting-kids-classical-music-heres-what-you-told-us All last week on this blog we asked the question: <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/deceptivecadence/2011/05/17/136359353/how-do-you-introduce-classical-music-to-kids" target="_blank">How do we best hook kids up with classical music?</a> We asked you, along with a few prominent musicians, and we got a broad variety of responses — from "give the kid a trumpet," to "let them watch <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15234027/leonard-bernstein" target="_blank">Leonard Bernstein</a>'s Young People's Concerts."<p>Still, a few recurring themes emerged, and I've gathered them in groups of responses.< Tue, 24 May 2011 14:13:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 4576 at http://weku.fm Connecting Kids With Classical Music: Here's What You Told Us Tenors, Indie Sounds And Scarlatti: New Classical CDs http://weku.fm/post/tenors-indie-sounds-and-scarlatti-new-classical-cds Dire predictions about classical music keep coming, and yet so do excellent recordings from all corners of the classical realm — a fact happily reflected in an eclectic mix of sounds that NPR Music's Tom Huizenga spins for<em> Weekend All Things Considered</em> host Guy Raz. Judd Greenstein's music cheerfully percolates with well-blended flavors from many genres. He's among the so-called indie classical composers who also heads up his own ensemble and record label. Then there's the awesomeness of French pianist Alexandre Tharaud, whose new Scarlatti disc ranges from ravishing to rollicking. Sun, 22 May 2011 00:00:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 4400 at http://weku.fm Tenors, Indie Sounds And Scarlatti: New Classical CDs Spring For Music: Orchestras Bring Innovative Concerts To Carnegie Hall http://weku.fm/post/spring-music-orchestras-bring-innovative-concerts-carnegie-hall There's that age-old question: How do you get to Carnegie Hall? The answer — at least for the upcoming Spring for Music festival — lies in creative programming for symphony orchestra.<p>Spring for Music, an innovative new festival debuting at Carnegie Hall May 6, features seven North American orchestras in concert over nine nights. Thu, 05 May 2011 14:22:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 2949 at http://weku.fm Spring For Music: Orchestras Bring Innovative Concerts To Carnegie Hall 'Saamagam,' A New Cross-Cultural Concerto By Amjad Ali Khan http://weku.fm/post/saamagam-new-cross-cultural-concerto-amjad-ali-khan <em>(Classical Detours meanders through stylistic byways, exploring new recordings from the fringes of classical music.)</em><p>If you are over 40 and a Westerner like me, your introduction to Indian classical music was probably courtesy of the <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15229570/the-beatles" target="_blank">Beatles</a>. Perhaps the 1966 song "<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MF90rX43VpE" target="_blank">Love You To</a>" from Revolver, or the more elaborate "<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAADkgJBxhY" target="_blank">Within You Without You</a>" from <em>Sgt. Wed, 27 Apr 2011 20:51:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 2400 at http://weku.fm 'Saamagam,' A New Cross-Cultural Concerto By Amjad Ali Khan Wu Man: Tiny Desk Concert http://weku.fm/post/wu-man-tiny-desk-concert Nobody wields a pipa like <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15795647/wu-man" target="_blank">Wu Man</a>, the reigning virtuoso on the ancient four-stringed instrument. Wed, 27 Apr 2011 16:12:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 2366 at http://weku.fm Wu Man: Tiny Desk Concert