WFMT celebrates Carl Grapentine with Beethoven, Bernstein, and bubbles at Ravinia

By Stephen Raskauskas |

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Carl meets and greets fans while others write in memory books.

On Saturday, July 14, 2018, hundreds of Carl Grapentine’s friends, family members, and colleagues gathered at the Ravinia Festival to celebrate his incredible career as the longtime host of WFMT’s Morning Program. After decades of making your mornings better, his last day as a regular WFMT host will be July 27, 2018. (You will still hear him on WFMT from time to time: stay tuned for more details!)

At our “so long but not goodbye" reception for Carl at Ravinia, the evening’s performance featured Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 (“Ode to Joy”) and Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus under the baton of Marin Alsop. If you were unable to attend, we hope you enjoy these photos from the pre-performance champagne reception.

A live painter worked through the evening to capture the scene in oils.

Ravinia’s president and CEO, Welz Kauffman, fondly remembers some of his favorite stories about Carl from over the years.

Carl takes the stage, ready to recount some of his favorite moments from attending performances at Ravinia.

(Photo courtesy of Ravinia)

WFMT program director David Polk grabs a glass of champagne from a festively dressed server to toast to Carl.

Carl with Sandra Cordova Micek, WWCI president and CEO, and Maggie Clennon Reberg, WFMT host.