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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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 ...

American Composer Highlights for July 4

July 4, 2020

Independence Day falls on a Saturday this year, so Introductions brings an all-American composers episode. We feature orchestral, chamber and solo repertoire written by Americans born in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.

Mariachi Herencia de México’s latest album

June 27, 2020

This Saturday we feature Esencia Vol. 2, the fourth and newest album from Chicago ensemble Mariachi Herencia de México. Founded four years ago as a student group in Chicago Public Schools and still comprised of teenagers, the group’s debut album was nominated for a Grammy. This most recent release is a collection of different styles within mariachi: classics from the ...

Encore Broadcast | 2020 New Music School Concerto Competition

June 20, 2020

On Saturday’s program, hear the top three performances in New Music School‘s recent Concerto Competition. A total of 36 NMS students aged 8 to 15 entered the competition. Of those entrants, 16 had the chance to perform concerto movements with the Chicago Arts Orchestra and conductor Vladimir Kulenovic. The top three places were awarded at the finalists’ concert on January ...

Aurora Piano Quartet, Lakeshore Winds, and The Bone Rangers

June 13, 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. Aurora Piano Quartet ...

No Introductions | WFMT Spring Membership Drive

June 6, 2020

WFMT’s Spring Membership Drive takes place this morning. You can support original programming like Introductions, and help invite our finest young performers back into the studio once we can safely reopen. Donate securely online at wfmt.com/donate.

No Introductions | WFMT Spring Membership Drive

May 30, 2020

WFMT’s Spring Membership Drive takes place this morning. You can support original programming like Introductions and to invite our finest young performers back into the studio once we can safely reopen. Donate securely online at wfmt.com/donate.

Encore Broadcast | Masha Lakisova, violin

May 23, 2020

On Saturday, we have an encore broadcast featuring violinist Masha Lakisova of Vernon Hills. Masha studies violin at The Juilliard School’s Pre-College Division with Li Lin and Itzhak Perlman. This program was originally broadcast on September 7, 2019. A little note: the Lakisovas’ performance of Jenő Hubay’s Carmen Fantasy will be available on an exclusive WFMT compilation in the upcoming ...

2020 Fischoff Medalists: Dasani String Quartet & The Purple Hippopotami

May 16, 2020

This Saturday, we profile two medalists in the very recent 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 ...

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