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. Soloists and chamber ensembles perform live in WFMT’s 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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LIVE | Holly Venkitaswaran, 18, flute

March 16, 2019

In 2018, Holly earned first place at the Chicago Flute Club Student Competition and  the Kenosha Symphony Youth Concerto Competition. She also received Honorable Mention at the 2017 Midwest Young Artists Walgreens National Concerto Competition. In addition to competing, Holly has been a member of the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO) for seven years and earned second place in the 2019 ...

LIVE | Kimberly Han, 17, piano

March 9, 2019

On Saturday’s live broadcast, we feature 17-year-old pianist Kimberly Han. Kimberly is a Steinway Young Artist, a 2016-2018 Lang Lang Young Scholar, a four-year full scholarship recipient of the Chopin Foundation of the United States (2016-2020), and a two-time National YoungArts Foundation winner (2017-2018). She currently studies with Alexander Korsantia (New England Conservatory), and Brenda Huang (Music Institute of Chicago). ...

Merit School of Music’s 37th Annual Performathon

March 2, 2019

On Saturday’s broadcast, we feature two ensembles from Merit School of Music to highlight their 37th Annual Performathon. Performathon 2019 takes place on Friday, March 8 and Saturday, March 9 at Merit’s West Loop location. Performathon is a two-day performance and fundraising extravaganza that features over 350 student musicians, and the funds raised from Performathon help ensure that the Alice ...

LIVE | Irina Casasnovas Jilobokov, 18, violin

February 16, 2019

On Saturday’s live broadcast, we feature 18-year-old violinist Irina Casasnovas Jilobokov. She is a Merit Scholarship Fellow at the Music Institute of Chicago’s Academy, a training center for advanced pre-college musicians. She studies violin with Almita Vamos. Irina was born in San José, Costa Rica and began studying the violin at age 7. At the age of 9, Irina was ...

Encore Broadcast | Piano Highlights

January 19, 2019

On Saturday’s encore broadcast, we feature some highlight piano performances from 2018. To listen to this program again, please click here.

LIVE | Alice Zhang, 17, piano

January 12, 2019

On Saturday’s live broadcast and Facebook Live, we feature 17-year-old pianist Alice Zhang of Vernon Hills, Illinois in a program of Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, and William Bolcom. Alice is a senior at Vernon Hills High School, and she started piano lessons at age four with Brenda Huang. She also studies piano with Eduardus Halim, the Sascha Gorodnitzki Chair of Piano ...

Encore Broadcast | String Highlights

January 5, 2019

On Saturday’s encore broadcast, we revisit some highlight string performances from 2018. To listen to this program again, please click here.

A Musical Smorgasbord to Ring in the New Year

December 29, 2018

Our last edition of Introductions for 2018 is a musical smorgasbord, featuring highlights from an exciting year of performances given by young Chicago-based musicians and ensembles. We’ll hear from the Chicago Children’s Choir and the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, who gave powerful joint performances as a part of YAS! Fest–the Youth Arts Showcase–in September. We’ll also feature the Latin GRAMMY-Nominated Mariachi ...

From the Midwest to Vienna: A Holiday Celebration

December 22, 2018

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Join us for a holiday edition of Introductions featuring young musicians from the Midwest and beyond. We’ll hear the Midwest Young Artists Conservatory’s I’Solisti, a MYAC chamber orchestra, perform Johann Sebastian Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F major. We also feature the Vienna Boys Choir singing traditional carols in WFMT’s Levin Performance ...

LIVE | Introductions Alum Daniel Kaler, cello

December 15, 2018

Introductions alumni and cellist Daniel Kaler joins us once again for a live performance in WFMT’s Levin Performance Studio. Daniel first played on Introductions in 2014. Since graduating from New Trier High School, Kaler has studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music with Mark Kosower, principal cellist of The Cleveland Orchestra. Daniel’s accolades include winning the 2017 SAI Concerto Competition ...

Encore Broadcast | Kairos Quartet

December 1, 2018

On Saturday’s encore broadcast, we feature the Kairos Quartet of the Academy at the Music Institute of Chicago. To listen to this program again, please click here.

Encore Broadcast | Piano Highlights

November 17, 2018

On Saturday’s encore broadcast, we feature some highlight piano performances we’ve heard so far this year. To listen to this program again, please click here.

Encore Broadcast | String Highlights

November 10, 2018

On Saturday’s encore broadcast, we feature our “String Highlights” program. To listen to this broadcast again, please click here.

Encore Broadcast | Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra Plays Barber and CYSO Ventus Wind Quintet

October 20, 2018

On Saturday’s encore broadcast, we feature the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra and the CYSO Ventus Wind Quintet. To listen to this program again, please click here.

Encore Broadcast | Yerin Yang, 15, piano

October 13, 2018

On Saturday’s encore broadcast, we feature 15-year-old pianist Yerin Yang of Mount Prospect, Illinois. Yerin won the 2018 Crain-Maling Foundation Chicago Symphony Orchestra Young Artists Competition. To listen to the program again, please click here.  

Encore Broadcast | Derek Chung, 18, piano

October 6, 2018

On Saturday’s encore broadcast, we feature 18-year-old pianist Derek Chung of Lincolnshire, Illinois. To listen to this program again, please click here.

String Highlights

September 29, 2018

On Saturday’s broadcast, we feature a program dedicated to string music we’ve heard so far this year on Introductions. From solo violin to string quartet to harp, we’ll listen back to some great performances from WFMT’s Fay and Daniel Levin Performance Studio.

LIVE | Introductions Celebrates 10 Years at Youth Arts Showcase in Millennium Park

September 22, 2018

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events have designated 2018 as the Year of Creative Youth, a citywide celebration of Chicago’s young artists and the mentors who inspire them. This coincides with the 10th anniversary of WFMT’s Introductions, which spotlights the Chicago area’s talented pre-college musicians. As a highlight event of the Year of Creative Youth, the Youth Arts Showcase (YAS! Fest) will take place on Saturday, September 22, and host and producer Michael San Gabino will be on hand to kick off the festival with a live broadcast at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion from 11:00 am to noon.

2018 Crain-Maling Foundation CSO Young Artists Competition Winner Yerin Yang

September 15, 2018

Many musicians dream to perform with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the CSO gives that opportunity to one young musician every year. On Saturday’s broadcast, we feature 15-year-old pianist Yerin Yang of Mount Prospect. Yerin won the 2018 Crain-Maling Foundation Chicago Symphony Orchestra Young Artists Competition, and as a result, she will perform with the CSO during the 2018/2019 season. ...

A Leonard Bernstein Birthday Celebration

August 25, 2018

Leonard Bernstein was many things: conductor, composer, pianist. He was also an educator to so many people during his lifetime, and he educated an entire generation about classical music with his Young People’s Concerts. We celebrate Bernstein’s 100th birthday on Introductions with a program dedicated to his music, performed by pre-college musicians in the Chicago area.