Introductions

Saturdays at 11:00 am

Members of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras perform during a live broadcast of Introductions from Millennium Park. (Photo: Tipping Point Photography)

Hear talented pre-college classical musicians from the Chicago area

Introductions is WFMT’s weekly Saturday morning program that features talented pre-college classical musicians in the Chicago area. We invite soloists and chamber ensembles to perform live in WFMT’s Fay & Daniel Levin Performance Studio. Large ensembles, including orchestras, choirs, and bands, are recorded at their home venues and broadcast at later dates. The program also features youth music competition winners. While many Introductions alumni pursue careers outside of music, some have gone on to study at some of the most prestigious music schools around the world and maintain careers as professional musicians.

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Esme Arias-Kim, 14, violin

November 21, 2020

Join us this Saturday for the winner of the 2020 Sphinx Competition Junior Division: Esme Arias-Kim of Hoffman Estates. Along with pianist Milana Pavchinskaya, Esme presents a program of Mozart, Ysaÿe, Wagner, Saint-Saëns, Gershwin, and Ponce. Thanks to the Music Institute of Chicago for letting WFMT record in Nichols Hall. Esme Arias-Kim, 14, is a Merit Scholarship Fellow at the ...

Justin Chang, 18, piano

November 14, 2020

Today, we feature 18-year-old pianist Justin Chang of Schaumburg. Justin was supposed to perform live on Introductions on Saturday March 14, 2020, and will forever hold the dubious distinction of being the first musician whose live WFMT performance was cancelled due to a pandemic. In today’s recital, recorded and broadcast eight months late, he performs Schubert, Chopin, and Liszt. Thanks ...

Zarin Mehta, 13, piano

November 7, 2020

This Saturday we profile 13-year-old pianist Zarin Mehta of Chicago’s River North neighborhood, playing pieces by Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, and Debussy. Zarin was invited to deliver a solo Introductions recital as the winner of the 2020 New Music School Concerto Competition. Thank you to the New Music School for letting us record in their Magnificent Mile location. Zarin Mehta ...

Anika Veda, 16, flute

October 31, 2020

Today, we broadcast our first in-person recital and interview since the pandemic began: 16-year-old flute player Anika Veda of Palatine, with Beilin Han on piano. Thanks to the Music Institute of Chicago for letting WFMT record in Nichols Hall. Anika Veda is a junior at William Fremd High School and has been playing the flute for seven years as a ...

No Introductions | WFMT Fall Membership Drive

October 24, 2020

WFMT’s Fall Membership Drive takes place this morning. You can support original programming like Introductions, and help us broadcast Chicago’s finest performers of all ages. Donate securely online at wfmt.com/donate, and you’re welcome to take Mariachi Herencia de México’s album Esencia Vol. 2 as a thank-you gift!

No Introductions | WFMT Fall Membership Drive

October 17, 2020

WFMT’s Fall Membership Drive takes place this morning. You can support original programming like Introductions, and help us broadcast Chicago’s finest performers of all ages. Donate securely online at wfmt.com/donate.

Beatrice Chen, 17, viola

October 10, 2020

This weekend, we feature Chicago violist Beatrice Chen in a completely solo recital, recorded at her home with borrowed WFMT gear. Beatrice currently studies at the Curtis Institute of Music with Hsin-Yun Huang. She’s won first prize in various competitions including the Johansen International Competition for Young String Players, Albert M. Greenfield Competition, DePaul Concerto Festival, Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras ...

Noah Chen, 16, cello

October 3, 2020

This Saturday, we profile Noah Chen of Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood. Noah currently attends the Pre-College Division of the Juilliard School, under the tutelage of Dr Clara Kim. Noah is both an avid soloist and chamber musician. As a member of the Chen String Quartet, he has performed for NPR’s From the Top, Make Music Chicago 2020, and the International Music ...

Alumni: Benjamin Lash, Sadie McCloud, and Jessi Lee

September 26, 2020

This week, Introductions goes back to the very first year of the program to see what alumni have gotten up to in the past twelve years. We discover one musician who’s still in the classical world, one who’s changed musical direction into indie pop, and another who’s pursuing a PhD in Philosophy. This episode is presented by Robbie Ellis with ...

Encore Broadcast | Mariachi Herencia de México’s latest album

September 19, 2020

This Saturday, to mark the first week of National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15), we once again feature Esencia Vol. 2, the fourth and newest album from Chicago ensemble Mariachi Herencia de México. This episode was first broadcast on June 27, 2020. Audio and notes on that episode page.

Encore Broadcast | Aurora Piano Quartet, Lakeshore Winds, and The Bone Rangers

September 12, 2020

This Saturday, we feature three chamber groups: one each of strings, winds, and brass. We also talk to one member of each group: pianist Colin Song, about to major in Neuroscience at Emory University; bassoonist Abigail Lopez, about to study Music at DePaul; and freshman trombonist Owen Riordan, about being the newest member of an established quartet. This episode was ...

Encore Broadcast | Insieme Piano Trio & Trio Reine

September 5, 2020

This Saturday, Introductions features two all-female trios: the Insieme Piano Trio from the Music Institute of Chicago Academy; and Trio Reine from Midwest Young Artists Conservatory. This episode was first broadcast July 11, 2020, and can be heard at that episode page.

Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative: 2019-20 encore broadcast; 2020-21 sneak peek

August 29, 2020

On Saturday, we revisit four musicians from the first year of Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative (CMPI). Made possible through a $3.5 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, CMPI strives to build equality in classical music and provides training for diverse, dedicated musicians. The organization, in collaboration with nearly 30 Chicago music organizations, identifies and develops gifted musicians from ...

Ardente String Quartet & Trio Primavera

August 22, 2020

This Saturday, we’ve got the last two in our summer survey of chamber groups from major music schools: the Ardente String Quartet from Midwest Young Artists Conservatory, and Trio Primavera from the Music Institute of Chicago Academy. We also hear Zoom interviews with two members: violinist Ella Saputra and cellist Jan Vargas Nedvetsky. Ardente String Quartet The Ardente String Quartet ...

Gemini String Quartet, Precipice Saxophone Quartet, and Infini Quartet

August 15, 2020

This Saturday on Introductions, a trio of quartets. The Gemini String Quartet from the Music Institute of Chicago Academy, the Precipice Saxophone Quartet from Merit School of Music, and the Infini Quartet from the MIC Academy. We also interview one member from each group: Isabel Chen (violin/viola), Cole Moorhead (soprano saxophone), and Kelly Kim (violin/viola). Gemini String Quartet The Gemini ...

Midwest Young Artists Conservatory: Symphony Orchestra & Big Band

August 8, 2020

On Saturday’s broadcast, we feature two ensembles from the Midwest Young Artists Conservatory of Highland, Illinois. The MYAC Symphony Orchestra plays two movements from Berlioz, and the Big Band concludes the program with a jazz number made famous by Duke Ellington. Midwest Young Artists Conservatory Symphony Orchestra Directed by Dr. Allan Dennis, the MYAC’s founder and president, the Symphony Orchestra ...

Encore Broadcast | 2020 Fischoff Medalists: Dasani String Quartet & The Purple Hippopotami

August 1, 2020

This Saturday, we profile two medalists in the 2020 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. This year, the competition pivoted to a virtual format due to the coronavirus pandemic, and ensembles were judged on their audition recordings. Of the twelve Chicago-area ensembles in the quarter-finals, two won medals. We hear from those two, as well as The Bone Rangers, winners of ...

Quartet Lucciola and Trio Domino

July 25, 2020

This Saturday, we feature two chamber ensembles from Midwest Young Artists Conservatory: Quartet Lucciola playing Mendelssohn, Haydn, and Bartók; and Trio Domino with Shostakovich, Beethoven, and Turina. We also interview a member from each group: violist Bella Kim and cellist Samuel Du. Quartet Lucciola Quartet Lucciola is a group from Midwest Young Artists Conservatory coached by Robert Bassill and Allan ...

Alumna: Amelia Piscitelli, violin, with Camerata Chicago orchestras

July 18, 2020

This Saturday, we profile Introductions alum Amelia Piscitelli, currently between her freshman and sophomore years at college. We look back at her Introductions recital as a 15-year-old in 2016, as well as her working as concertmaster and soloist with two orchestras under the Camerata Chicago banner. Amelia Piscitelli graduated as Salutatorian from Hammond Baptist High School in Schererville, Indiana in ...

Insieme Piano Trio & Trio Reine

July 11, 2020

For WFMT’s Trailblazing Women in Music Month, Introductions features two all-female trios: the Insieme Piano Trio from the Music Institute of Chicago Academy; and Trio Reine from Midwest Young Artists Conservatory. Insieme Piano Trio The Insieme Piano Trio is comprised of Sonya Jones and Abigail Park, violins/violas; and Ashley Kim, piano. All three students are Fellows at the Music Institute ...

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