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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CYSO Jubilee Woodwind Quintet with Taki Salameh, 18, composer

May 21, 2022

Five principal players from the CYSO present wind quintet music by Paul Taffanel, Carl Nielsen, and Paul Hindemith.

No Introductions | Early Opera

May 14, 2022

There is no episode of Introductions this week: the Metropolitan Opera is starting Richard Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg at the earlier time of 11:00am Central.

LIVE | Elinor Detmer, 17, violin

May 7, 2022

A live broadcast of Beethoven, Bach, Perkinson, Gershwin and Sibelius from the Rhapsody Theater.

LIVE | Sidney Lee, 18, viola

April 30, 2022

A live performance — from Rogers Park's Rhapsody Theater — of music by Clarke, Bach, Brahms, and Prokofiev.

2022 Crain-Maling Foundation CSO Young Artists Competition

April 23, 2022

In our continuing coverage of recent concerto competitions, Introductions plays all four finalists from the 2022 Crain-Maling Foundation CSO Young Artists Competition. This year, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Negaunee Music Institute opened the competition up to piano soloists, and all four finalists performed their chosen concerto movement with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and conductor Andrew Grams on Saturday March ...

2022 International Young Artist Concerto Competition

April 16, 2022

This week, Introductions returns with the finalists from the 2022 International Young Artist Concerto Competition, with performances from Sunday January 30. Formerly known as the New Music School Concerto Competition, WFMT covered this event in 2020 and in 2021. First-Place Winner: Esme Arias-Kim. Runner-Up Tie: Kimiko Darcy and Zarin Mehta. Third Place: Luis Villa. Esme gave a solo recital on ...

No Introductions | WFMT Spring Membership Drive

April 9, 2022

WFMT’s Spring Membership Drive takes place this morning. You can support original programming like Introductions and to keep our finest young local performers on the radio. Donate securely online at wfmt.com/donate.

No Introductions | WFMT Spring Membership Drive

April 2, 2022

WFMT’s Spring Membership Drive takes place this morning. You can support original programming like Introductions and to keep our finest young local performers on the radio. Donate securely online at wfmt.com/donate.

Living Composer Highlights

March 26, 2022

Introductions is a short program this week, since the opera starts at 11:30am Central, half an hour earlier than usual. We’ll take the chance to rebroadcast pieces by living composers from the United States, France and Argentina; as performed by youngsters in the past year.

Sarah Wejman, 17, viola

March 19, 2022

A viola recital today on Introductions: Sarah Wejman is a high school senior and student of Desirée Ruhstrat. She presents music of JS Bach, H. Leslie Adams, Max Reger and Ernest Bloch, with pianist Liang-yu Wang. Thanks to Delmark Records for hosting this recording session. Sarah Wejman is a senior at New Trier High School, and has played viola since ...

LIVE | Katya Moeller, 17, violin

March 12, 2022

Today on Introductions, a live recital from Katya Moeller, a fellow of the Music Institute of Chicago Academy and a student of Almita Vamos. With her mother Ksenia Noskiova at the piano, Katya performs music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Eugène Ysaÿe and George Gershwin; plus a set of Lera Auerbach preludes including two world premieres. Thanks to ...

Women’s History Month Highlights

March 5, 2022

For the start of Women’s History Month, Introductions looks at highlights from the past twelve months: young musicians’ performances of works by female composers. In the second half of the episode, we feature recent releases by Introductions alumni: solo violinist Megan Healy and Ryan Meehan of the Calidore String Quartet. This episode is not available as a podcast for copyright ...

Rosie Wang, 17, flute

February 26, 2022

Today on Introductions, we feature 17-year-old Rosie Wang, winner of the 2019 Crain-Maling Foundation CSO Young Artists Competition. As part of her prize package, Rosie was due to perform a live recital on WFMT in June 2020. In this program, we feature chamber recordings made last year, plus her prize-winning performance from 2019, first broadcast on Music in Chicago. Rosie ...

Encore Broadcast | CYSO Concerto Competition Winners

February 19, 2022

We hear once again from Bianca Ciubancan and Louis Auxenfans, who won Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras’ top concerto competition in 2020 and 2021 respectively. This episode first aired on January 15, 2022. More details and podcast at the original episode page.

Encore Broadcast | Interview with Almita & Roland Vamos

February 12, 2022

A repeat of Introductions‘ 70th-anniversary special: Robbie Ellis interviews renowned violin and viola instructors Almita and Roland Vamos, who have taught many teenage performers who have appeared on the show. This episode first aired on December 11, 2021. The playlist, audio, and transcript are on the original episode page.

Black History Month Highlights

February 5, 2022

This week on Introductions, we look back to performances of music by Black composers from the past twelve months. Teenage performers (and a few adults) play music by composers born in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries: Hailstork, Dett, Kay, Holland, Montgomery, and Miller.

Encore Broadcast | Nicholas Boettcher, 18, double bass

January 29, 2022

This weekend on Introductions, we rebroadcast a recital from Nicholas Boettcher, a Principal Double Bass of Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras. This episode first aired on October 16, 2021. More details and podcast at the original episode page.

Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras Fall 2021 Concert – Symphony

January 22, 2022

The CYSO Symphony Orchestra returned to Symphony Center for the first time in two years. Last week we heard from their Concerto Competition winners, and this week we hear the centerpiece work of the Fall 2021 concert: Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4. The interview guests are Principal Oboe Zachary Allen and Principal Bassoon Taki Salameh. Playlist Peter Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4, ...

Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras Fall 2021 Concert – Concertos

January 15, 2022

The flagship groups of Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras returned to Symphony Center for the first time in two years, and they had a lot of catching up to do. On the program were features for two years’ worth of Concerto Competition winners: violinist Bianca Ciubancan and clarinettist Louis Auxenfans won in 2020 and 2021 respectively. (Louis Auxenfans appeared on Introductions ...

Encore Broadcast | Young Quartets on WFMT’s 70th Anniversary

January 8, 2022

WFMT’s 70th anniversary, December 13, 2021, featured live performances from a wide variety of Chicago performers. Among them were two teenage string quartets: the Omaggio String Quartet from the Music Institute of Chicago Academy, and the Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative String Quartet. On this week’s episode, we replay those recordings. Video: Performances from the Music Institute of Chicago, including the ...

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