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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Bryce Dessner of The National with CYSO and Emilio del Rosario Youth Piano Competition Part 2 of 3

October 17, 2015

On Saturday’s broadcast, we present the second of three programs featuring the 2015 Emilio del Rosario Young Artist Piano Concerto Competition. The competition was at Symphony Center on June 14, 2015. Francesco Milioto conducted the New Millennium Orchestra of Chicago. The Second Prize Winner, 19 year old Yijia Wang, will be featured in Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C ...

CYSO; Emilio del Rosario International Young Artist Piano Concerto Competition Part 1 of 3

October 10, 2015

On Saturday’s broadcast, we present the first of three programs featuring the 2015 Emilio del Rosario Young Artist Piano Concerto Competition. The competition was at Symphony Center on June 14, 2015. Francesco Milioto conducted the New Millennium Orchestra of Chicago. The Third Prize Winner, Jiaqi (Dragon) Long, will be featured in Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat Minor. To ...

Torin Bakke, clarinet

September 26, 2015

On Saturday’s rebroadcast, we feature Torin Bakke, clarinetist and winner of the 2013 Crain-Maling Foundation Chicago Symphony Orchestra Youth Auditions.

CYSO Encore Chamber Orchestra Plays Scheherazade

September 19, 2015

On Saturday’s broadcast, we present selections from the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra’s Encore Chamber Orchestra concert at the Joan W. and Irving B. Harris Theater for Music and Dance on December 7, 2014. The Encore Chamber Orchestra is made up of student musicians from the CYSO who plan to pursue a career in music. They are led by CYSO Music ...

Chicago Duo Piano Festival: Part 2

September 15, 2015

On Saturday’s broadcast, we present the second of two programs featuring the Winner’s Concert from the 2015 Chicago Duo Piano Festival Competition. Piano duos from across the Chicago area and the Midwest performed on Saturday, May 30 in Nichols Concert Hall in Evanston. Claire Aebersold and Ralph Neiweem of the Music Institute of Chicago are the Artistic Directors of the Duo Piano ...

Gallia Kastner, violin, 2014 CSO Youth Audition Winner

September 12, 2015

Gallia Kastner is an 18 year old violinist from Arlington Heights who studied with Almita and Roland Vamos. She will be attending the Colburn School to study violin with Robert Lipsett this fall. She commenced her private violin study at the age of five and a half with Betty Haag-Kuhnke. Gallia has won numerous competitions locally, nationally, and internationally, both ...

Chicago Duo Piano Festival: Part I

August 29, 2015

On Saturday’s broadcast, we presented the first of two programs featuring the Winner’s Concert from the 2015 Chicago Duo Piano Festival Competition. Piano duos from across the Chicago area and the Midwest performed on Saturday, May 30 in Nichols Concert Hall in Evanston. Claire Aebersold and Ralph Neiweem of the Music Institute of Chicago are the Artistic Directors of the ...

Lockport Township High School Wind Symphony

August 22, 2015

On Saturday’s broadcast, we featured the Lockport Township High School Wind Symphony, another wind ensemble selected by the judges of the 2014 Chicagoland Band Festival at John Hersey High School to appear on Introductions. The ensemble is directed by Brian Covey. In recent years, the Lockport Wind Symphony has earned consistent Superior Division Ratings at state organization contests and has performed ...

Merit School of Music: Performathon Part 2

August 8, 2015

On Saturday’s broadcast, we present the second of two programs featuring the Merit School of Music’s 2015 Performathon, an annual two day music and fundraising extravaganza featuring the students of the Alice S. Pfaelzer Tuition-free Conservatory. This broadcast featured numerous chamber ensembles that performed on Saturday, February 28, 2015 in Anne and Howard Gottlieb Hall at the Merit School of Music. ...

Merit School of Music: Performathon Part 1

August 1, 2015

On Saturday’s broadcast, we present the first of two programs featuring the Merit School of Music’s 2015 Performathon, an annual two day music and fundraising extravaganza featuring the students of the Alice S. Pfaelzer Tuition-free Conservatory. Our first broadcast featured the Merit Wind Symphony in the opening night concert for Performathon on February 27, 2015 in Anne and Howard Gottlieb ...

New Trier High School Symphonic Wind Ensemble

July 18, 2015

We feature the New Trier High School Symphonic Wind Ensemble on this Saturday’s broadcast in a diverse program of music for wind and percussion instruments. The ensemble was selected by the judges of the 2014 Chicagoland Band Festival at John Hersey High School to perform on Introductions.  Matt Temple is the director of bands at the Winnetka high school.

MYA Symphony Orchestra Plays the Rite of Spring

July 11, 2015

On this Saturday’s broadcast, we featured the Midwest Young Artists Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Stravinsky’s ground breaking 20th century masterpiece The Rite of Spring. The MYA Symphony Orchestra performed this piece in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall on the campus of Northwestern University in Evanston as a part of their spring concert on Sunday, May 3, 2015.  The program also featured ...

Fortis Piano Quartet

July 4, 2015

Fortis Piano Quartet was formed in the fall of 2014 by the chamber program of the Music Institute of Chicago’s Academy, a pre-college training program for highly gifted young musicians. All four members are Fellows at the Academy. Joshua Brown, violinist/violist (15), Kitsho Hosotani, violinist/violist (15), Nathan Mo, cellist (16), and Daniel Szefer, piano (16) are passionate and awarded young ...

Shannon Kollasch, 17, violin and Campanella Children’s Choir

June 27, 2015

On Saturday’s broadcast, we feature a violin soloist and a children’s choir. Shannon Kollasch, 17, has been studying the violin for 14 years.  For the past ten years, she has studied under Desirée Ruhstrat of the Lincoln Trio. Shannon has served as the concertmaster of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra’s Symphony and Encore Orchestras. Her performances with these orchestras include ...

Joe Bricker, percussion

June 20, 2015

Joseph Bricker, a senior at Evanston Township High School in Evanston, Illinois, is currently co-principal percussionist of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra and Midwest Young Artists Symphony Orchestra. Joe has earned many distinguished honors, including the 2013 Fine Arts Scholar in Percussion and the 2014 Emerson Scholar in Percussion (for tuition-free six weeks of intensive orchestral study at Interlochen Center ...

CYSO Performs at Symphony Center

June 13, 2015

On this Saturday’s broadcast, we feature the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra in selections from their November 23, 2014 concert at Symphony Center. The program features cellist Lucie Ticho, winner of the CYSO Concerto Competition.

Cathryn Cowell, violin and Irish fiddle

May 30, 2015

Cathryn Cowell has been studying violin since the age of three. At the age of eleven, she made her orchestral debut at the DePaul Concert Hall, after winning the DePaul Community Concerto Festival. Cathryn is a member of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra performing biannually at the Chicago Symphony Center and community concerts. She has participated in the Chamber Orchestra ...

Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra, Maud Powell String Quartet

May 23, 2015

Named after Maud Powell (1867-1920), America’s first international violin superstar (who grew up in Aurora, Illinois), this premier string quartet from the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra is coached by Karen Basrak, cellist in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The members include Jacob Song (Barrington High School), Mike Priller (Rolling Meadows High School), Claire Wright (Home schooled), and Paul Christian (Glenbard West ...

CYSO Principal Players, Quattro Voci

May 9, 2015

Quattro Voci is the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra’s Principal Player string quartet.  Consisting of violinists Shannon Kollasch (17) and Isabella Spinelli (16), violist Kayla Cabrera (16), and cellist Timothy Edwards (17), this group of CYSO section leaders lives up to the meaning of its name– “four voices” in Italian– by combining technique, passion, musicality, and energy in one versatile ensemble.  ...

Atara String Quartet

May 2, 2015

Atara String Quartet is comprised of Hannah White and Karisa Chiu, violin; Tess Krope, viola; and Krystian Chiu, cello. All four students are Fellows at the Music Institute of Chicago Academy, a pre-college training program for gifted musicians. The quartet is coached by artist faculty member Mathias Tacke. Atara String Quartet was the first place winner of the Society of ...