Mornings with Dennis Moore

Weekdays, 6:00 am-10:00 am
Dennis Moore

Get a great start to your weekday mornings with great music.

Dennis Moore always has an eclectic mix of classical music to accompany your weekday mornings. Whether you’re at work, relaxing at home or are out-and-about, Dennis plays the perfect soundtrack to help jump start your week. Dennis joined the WFMT announcing staff in 1990 after being a regular listener to the station via cable during his ten years as music director of WMFE in Orlando, Florida. Dennis has worn many hats at WFMT: as program director, announcer, host of Music in Chicago, the Dame Myra Hess Concerts, concerts from Northeastern Illinois University, and special broadcast events including the Aspen Music Festival. Dennis is active making music around town (and in Reykjavik, Iceland and Malibu, California, among other locations) as a pianist with his partner, violinist Sara Su Jones.

Dennis's Morning Quiz

On this date, 25 years ago in 1993, Joan Tower’s Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman #5 was first performed at the opening of the Joan and Irving Harris Concert Hall at Colorado’s Aspen Music Festival. The fanfare was the fifth in a series dedicated to “uncommon” women – women who take risks and are adventurous in their actions and goals. The first fanfare is dedicated to a conductor who has recorded all five of Tower’s fanfares with the Colorado Symphony, and who was at Ravinia with the Chicago Symphony this past weekend. What is that conductor’s name?

Answer: Marin Alsop

This weekend at the Ravinia Festival, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra concludes its summer residency with programs that include two works by Leonard Bernstein. Sunday afternoon at 5, Marin Alsop conducts Bernstein’s Symphony #1, Jeremiah, with mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges. And Marin Alsop and the CSO will open tomorrow night’s Ravinia concert at 7:30 with Bernstein’s Slava! A Political Overture which premiered in 1977. The piece is a tribute to Bernstein’s longtime friend, a great cellist whose nickname was Slava. Who is that cellist?

Answer: Mstislav Rostropovich

On this date in 1932, a piece by George Gershwin was given its first performance by the New York Philharmonic at the 8,000-seat Lewisohn Stadium that once stood in New York City’s West Harlem. The composition is an overture that was inspired by music Gershwin heard on a 1932 vacation, featuring the rhythms and musical instruments of the country he visited. Which country gave Gershwin the idea to write this piece, which he originally titled Rumba?

Answer: Cuba — it’s the Cuban Overture.

The final concerts of the 2018 Grant Park Music Festival season are tonight, Friday, and Saturday at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. This evening at 6:30, you can hear opera stars of tomorrow from Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center with the Grant Park Orchestra in Gian-Carlo Menotti’s radio opera, The Old Maid and the Thief. Longtime festival patron and Chicago broadcaster Ron Magers will perform as the narrator. Gian Carlo Menotti, who died in 2007 at the age of 95, wrote his first opera before he was 11. His most famous work in the genre is the hugely popular holiday season classic that premiered on NBC television in 1951. What’s the name of that Menotti opera?

Answer: Amahl and the Night Visitors

Writing a review of Claude Debussy’s La mer, a fellow composer said that in the first sketch, called “From Dawn to Midday at Sea”, “there’s one particular moment between half past ten and quarter to eleven that I found stunning!”  The composer who wrote this was once removed by police escort from a concert for beating a critic with his cane. Who was the reviewer?

  • Paul Dukas
  • Eric Satie
  • Camille Saint-Saëns
  • Igor Stravinsky

Answer: Eric Satie

A question about Leonard Bernstein, whose centenary Classical WFMT and the music world are observing this month: Bernstein was born in 1918 in Lawrence, Massachusetts to Ukrainian/Jewish immigrants. But this renowned composer, conductor, and educator’s original first name was not Leonard! He changed his name to Leonard when he was 16 years old. What was Leonard Bernstein’s original birth name?

Answer: Louis

Tonight and tomorrow night at the Grant Park Music Festival in Millennium Park, 25-year-old Spanish cellist Pablo Ferrández will be the soloist in one of the 20th century’s great concertos, created by the collaboration of a genius composer — Sergei Prokofiev— with a genius musician, cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, who even wrote certain pages himself. What’s the name of this piece by Prokofiev on the Grant Park program tonight and tomorrow night?

Answer: Prokofiev’s Sinfonia Concertante, also known as the Symphony-Concerto, or Cello Symphony.

One of the world’s great pianists, Yuja Wang, who performed Beethoven last month with Gustavo Dudamel and the Chicago Symphony at Ravinia, is featured tonight at 10 on our next broadcast of Carnegie Hall Live. After childhood piano studies in China, Yuja Wang studied at Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music, and she also spent part of a summer at a one-of-a-kind professional music conservatory for young artists right here in the Chicago area. What is the name of that unique summer program for young professional musicians?

Answer: Yuja Wang took part in Ravinia’s Steans Institute during the summer of 2004.

Antonio Vivaldi, the renowned Baroque violinist and composer, became a Catholic priest at age 25. Vivaldi, who wrote The Four Seasons, also acquired a nickname because of his hair color. What’s that nickname?

Answer: Vivaldi was known as “The Red Priest” because he had red hair.

Baritone Thomas Hampson and bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni are giving a recital at Ravinia’s Martin Theatre tonight at 7:30 pm called “No Tenors Allowed.” How are Hampson and Pisaroni related?

Answer: Pisaroni is Hampson’s son-in-law.