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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Encore Broadcast | CYSO Composition Seminar

November 27, 2021

This week on Introductions, we hear once more from eight young composers who went through the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras‘ 2021 Composition Seminar, writing pieces for string quartet. This episode first aired on September 11, 2021. More details and the podcast are available on that original episode page.

Encore Broadcast | Marco Villela, 18, trumpet/voice/piano/composer

November 20, 2021

This weekend we replay the multi-genre, multi-instrumental, multilingual recital of Marco Villela, a longtime member of Mariachi Herencia de México who joins radio host and pianist Robbie Ellis. At the time he was a recent graduate of Lane Tech College Prep; he is now a freshman at the DePaul University School of Music. This episode first aired on August 14, ...

Encore Broadcast | Isabel Chen, 18, violin

November 13, 2021

Today we hear once more from 18-year-old Isabel Chen of Northbrook, a former violin student of Almita Vamos now studying at the Eastman School of Music. She performs some solo Bach, a Beethoven sonata movement, a short Kreisler piece, a recent work by Montgomery, and the first movement of the Sibelius Violin Concerto. This episode first aired on July 31, ...

Encore Broadcast | Eva Sharman, 17, piano

November 6, 2021

This Saturday, Introductions rebroadcasts pianist Eva Sharman of Lake Bluff, Illinois. A student of Tatyana Stepanova at Midwest Young Artists Conservatory, she presents music by Bach, Rachmaninoff, Mendelssohn, Chaminade, and Prokofiev. This episode first aired on June 5, 2021. More details and the podcast are available on that original episode page.

No Introductions | WFMT Fall Membership Drive

October 30, 2021

WFMT’s Fall 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 Fall Membership Drive

October 23, 2021

WFMT’s Fall 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.

LIVE | Nicholas Boettcher, 18, double bass

October 16, 2021

Today on Introductions is a rarity: a solo double bass recital. Nicholas Boettcher is Principal Double Bass of Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras‘ flagship orchestra, a senior at Naperville North High School, and founder of The No Repeats Project. Nicholas is joined by Sooka Wang on piano. Nicholas Boettcher studies double bass with Andy Anderson and music with Sooka Wang. In ...

Hispanic and Latino Heritage Month Highlights

October 9, 2021

On Introductions this week: a look back at performances of music by Latin-American composers. Represented are the solo and chamber works of compositores from Brazil, Cuba, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Chicago. Playlist Heitor Villa-Lobos: Song of the Black Swan Jan Vargas Nedvetsky, cello; Milana Pavchinskaya, piano First broadcast January 16, 2021 Leo Brouwer: Solo Cello Sonata: I. Allegro moderato ...

Encore Broadcast | Isabella Brown, 18, violin

October 2, 2021

Today we hear once again from Isabella Brown, who recorded this recital with pianist Milana Pavchinskaya before moving to Los Angeles to start studying at the Colburn School. This episode first aired on July 24, 2021. Podcast and more details available at the original episode page.

Joanna Choe, 17, flute

September 25, 2021

On Introductions this Saturday, 17-year-old Joanna Choe, a flute student of Hideko Amano. She performs music by Adolphus Hailstork and Philippe Gaubert; concerto movements by Mozart and Ibert; and the François Borne Carmen Fantasy. Thank you to Delmark Records for allowing WFMT to record in their Riverside Studios in Chicago’s Ravenswood neighborhood. Joanna Choe is 17 years old has been ...

LIVE | Harry Zhang, 17, piano

September 18, 2021

This morning on Introductions, we’re going live again: 17-year-old Harry Zhang delivers a solo recital of Bach, Beethoven, Liszt, Liebermann, and Prokofiev. Thank you to Delmark Records for allowing WFMT to broadcast live from their Riverside Studios in Chicago’s Ravenswood neighborhood. Harry Zhang was the first-place winner of the 2020 Steinway Piano Competition Chicago Regionals, 2020 Illinois State Music Teachers ...

CYSO Composition Seminar

September 11, 2021

This week on Introductions, we profile eight young composers, all of whom participated in Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras‘ 2021 Composition Seminar. Under the tutelage of composers Eric Malmquist and Ben Hjertmann, participants had the chance to write for string quartet, and have their music recorded by ATLYS. This episode was produced by WFMT’s Andrew Patner Fellow Adela Skowronski. Playlist Emily Bear: ...

Introductions Class of 2021

September 4, 2021

It’s a graduation special for Labor Day Weekend: we mark 18-year-olds who are now our alumni, having performed on Introductions in the past few years. Some are now majoring in music, some are majoring in other subjects, a few are double-majoring, one’s taking a gap year, and one’s enlisted in the military. It’s a great variety of music this week. ...

Encore Broadcast | Brandon Cheng, 18, cello

August 28, 2021

Today on the show we feature cellist Brandon Cheng of Chicago’s Douglass Park neighborhood, a senior at Walter Payton College Prep. After appearing on Introductions several times in orchestras and chamber groups, today’s episode highlights him in a solo recital of Classical, Romantic, and contemporary pieces. Brandon is joined by pianist Elizabeth Vaughan. This episode was first broadcast on May ...

Five Chamber Groups, Seventeen Performers

August 21, 2021

On Introductions this week, a veritable menagerie and miscellany of groups! Hailing from the Music Institute of Chicago Academy, Victor J. Andrew High School and Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative, today’s episode has music from the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. We’ll hear seventeen teenage musicians across five groups – some playing in more than one group. Previous appearances Many ...

Marco Villela, 18, trumpet/voice/piano/composer

August 14, 2021

Today it’s not strictly classical on Introductions: 18-year-old Marco Villela of Chicago’s Avondale neighborhood has been a longtime fixture of the Grammy-nominated band Mariachi Herencia de México. He’s appeared on Introductions multiple times with the group as a trumpeter, singer, spokesman and arranger, including in September 2017 and June 2020. This weekend we get to feature him in his own ...

Ardente String Quartet; Sprezzatura Quartet; Quartet Feroce

August 7, 2021

This week on Introductions, string quartets from Midwest Young Artists Conservatory in Highwood and New Music School in Chicago perform music by Haydn, Schubert, Dvořák, Shostakovich, Ginastera, and Holland. Some of these young musicians have appeared on Introductions in the past: the same membership of the Ardente String Quartet appeared in August 2020, and their first violinist Ella Saputra recorded ...

Isabel Chen, 18, violin

July 31, 2021

Today we feature 18-year-old Isabel Chen of Northbrook, a violin student of Almita Vamos. She performs some solo Bach, a Beethoven sonata movement, a short Kreisler piece, a recent work by Montgomery, and the first movement of the Sibelius Violin Concerto. Thank you to the Music Institute of Chicago for letting WFMT record in Nichols Concert Hall, and to collaborative ...

Isabella Brown, 18, violin

July 24, 2021

Today we hear from violinist Isabella Brown in her winner’s recital following her success in the 2020 Crain-Maling Foundation CSO Young Artist Competition. She performs works by Johannes Brahms, Amy Beach, James Newton Howard and Henryk Wieniawski with pianist Milana Pavchinskaya. Thank you to the Music Institute of Chicago for letting WFMT record in Nichols Concert Hall. This week’s episode ...

Carmen Quartet and Golden Trio

July 17, 2021

This week on Introductions, two chamber groups from two music schools, both of which reached the quarter-finals of the 2021 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. The Carmen Quartet is entirely made up of high-school senior fellows of the Music Institute of Chicago Academy; and the Golden Trio hails from Midwest Young Artists Conservatory with the unusual combination of violin, double ...

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