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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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 ...

Encore Broadcast | Bella Kim, 18, viola

July 10, 2021

This week’s recital features viola music by Kay, Bach, Thomas and Bartók, courtesy of Bella Kim of Buffalo Grove. This episode was first broadcast on March 13, 2021. Audio and information are available at the original episode page.

American Composer Highlights

July 3, 2021

For Independence Day weekend, Introductions is going all-American. Join WFMT host and recently naturalized citizen Robbie Ellis for solo, chamber and orchestral recordings of George Crumb, Robert Nathaniel Dett, George Gershwin, Jennifer Higdon, Ulysses Kay, James Kazik, Misook Kim, Gary Schocker, and Bright Sheng.

Volodymyr Lymar, 17, countertenor

June 26, 2021

This weekend is a rarity for Introductions: a countertenor. 17-year-old Volodymyr Lymar is a senior at the Chicago High School for the Arts, and a student of Eric Miranda and Anna Kreynina. Volodymyr will sing music by Henry Purcell, Nicola Porpora and Christoph Willibald Gluck; a Ukrainian folk song; and something by the Ukrainian-US-Puerto Rican composer Jack Delano. Thanks to ...

Daniel Mies Nass, 17, piano

June 19, 2021

In this week’s Introductions, pianist and film-maker Daniel Mies Nass of Glenview presents a recital of Beethoven, Chopin, Schumann, Liszt and Debussy. Thanks to the Music Institute of Chicago for allowing us to record in Nichols Concert Hall. Daniel Mies Nass, aged 17, graduated early from Glenbrook South High School in January 2021. He began studying piano at the age ...

Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras Class of 2021

June 12, 2021

This weekend on Introductions, we feature four long-time members of Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras, all high school seniors, recorded in CYSO’s Curtiss Hall in the Fine Arts Building. We feature music by Johannes Brahms, Max Bruch, Henri Rabaud, Heinrich Sutermeister and Emmanuel Séjourné for clarinet, marimba, viola, and cello. Additionally, the four seniors look back at their favorite moments of ...

Eva Sharman, 17, piano

June 5, 2021

This Saturday, Introductions welcomes 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. Thanks to the Music Institute of Chicago for allowing us to record in Nichols Concert Hall. Eva Sharman, 17, is a junior at Lake Forest High School. She currently ...

Omaggio String Quartet and Purple Hippopotami Flute Trio

May 29, 2021

Today on Introductions, we have two chamber groups: the Omaggio String Quartet from the Music Institute of Chicago Academy, and the Purple Hippopotami Flute Trio from Merit School of Music, playing Kuhlau, Haydn, Debussy, Tomasi, Walker, Prokofiev, and Beeftink. Members of both groups have appeared on Introductions in the past. Thanks to ensemble members Elinor Detmer and Katherine Chen for ...

Encore Broadcast | Louis Auxenfans, 16, clarinet & piano; Henry Auxenfans, 13, violin

May 22, 2021

This Saturday’s recital is an unusual family affair: brothers Louis and Henry Auxenfans of Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood present a recital with five different instrumentations in one. Both attend the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools and have been longtime members of Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras, moving up through the ranks of the orchestras since their elementary school days. Their recital ...

2021 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition: live coverage

May 15, 2021

The Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition is an annual fixture for chamber groups from the Chicago area. Every May, young musicians and their families drive out the Skyway to South Bend, Indiana to compete in one of the nation’s most prestigious music competitions. For the second year in a row, the Fischoff organization is running their event online due to ...