Weekdays from 6:00 am-10:00 am

Each day, it’s Carl’s joie de vivre that lights up The Morning Program on WFMT. He’ll report the headlines, what the weather’s doing, and who won the big game (including the winning team’s fight song), and — of course — he’ll play Bach. In short, The Morning Program with Carl Grapentine is as essential to Chicago as that first cup of coffee.

Where’s Carl?

Want to meet Carl? You can find him in Chicago and beyond at some of these upcoming events.


March 9-11: National Concert Band Festival presented by Music for All
Host for all concerts of the national band festival.
Clowes Memorial Hall, Butler University–Indianapolis, IN

March 26: Chicago Chorale (Bach: Mass in b minor)
Pre-concert lecture at Rockefeller Chapel. 2:00 pm

April 9: Grace Lutheran Church & Chicago Choral Artists (Bach: St. John Passion)
Pre-concert lecture at Grace Lutheran Church, River Forest. 4:00 pm

May 5 & 7: Bach Week in Evanston
Pre-concert lecture on May 5 at Nichols Concert Hall, Evanston. 6:30 pm
Pre-concert lecture on May 7 at North Park University Chapel. 1:30 pm

May 10-20: WFMT/Travelex Tour to Germany
Tour host in Leipzig, Berlin, Wittenberg, Dresden, and Eisenach

Carl's Morning Quiz

  • Puccini’s final opera Turandot had its premiere on this date in 1926 at La Scala in Milan. Puccini had died 17 months earlier and the last part of Act III had been completed by Franco Alfano. But at the first performance, the conductor stopped the music at the point that Puccini had left off and said to the audience: “Here the opera ends because at this point the Maestro died.” And the curtain was slowly lowered. Who was the conductor at the first performance of Turandot?

    Arturo Toscanini

  • This ballet had its premiere in 1920 in Paris with music by Igor Stravinsky conducted by Ernest Ansermet. The choreographer was also the featured dancer, Léonide Massine. The sets and costumes were by Pablo Picasso. The main subject is a character from 17th century Commedia dell’arte. What is the name of this ballet?


  • This tune is usually thought of as a British patriotic song but its true origin is unknown. More than 100 composers have used the tune in their compositions. Beethoven wrote piano variations. Clementi used it in his Symphony #3. Donizetti quoted the tune in his opera Roberto Devereux. Johann Strauss Sr. quoted it in a waltz. Paganini wrote violin variations. And Charles Ives wrote organ variations on this tune although he was thinking of an American text. It was also used as a patriotic song in Germany. What is the most famous text sung to this ubiquitous tune?

    "God Save the Queen"

Carl Grapentine joined WFMT in 1986 and has been the host of WFMT’s morning program since 1996. He gives pre-concert lectures for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Music of the Baroque, and many other groups. An alumnus of the University of Michigan School of Music, Carl has been the “stadium voice” of the Michigan Marching Band since 1970– his voice being heard on national telecasts of 16 Rose Bowls and numerous other bowl games. He also added the responsibilities of game announcer at Michigan Stadium in 2006. Carl has sung the national anthem at Wrigley Field, U.S. Cellular Field, and several other sports venues.