Longtime WFMT PD Norm Pellegrini Passes
July 2, 2009 at 11:12 AM (PT)
NORM PELLEGRINI, the longtime program director at WINDOW TO THE WORLD COMMUNICATIONS Classical WFMT/CHICAGO passed away early THURSDAY morning at ST. JOSEPH'S HOSPITAL in CHICAGO at 79 years old. The cause of death was not specified.
If WFMT is a unique classical radio station in the nation and the world, it is largely due to PELLEGRINI's vision, influence and uncompromising artistic principles. He created the special mix of classical and folk music, jazz and spoken word that made WFMT's programming an oasis of class and style on a bandwidth increasingly given to crass commercialism, which he despised.
According to the CHICAGO TRIBUNE, PELLEGRINI joined WFMT when it was launched by Founders BERNARD and RITA JACOBS in 1951. He was named PD in 1953, a post he held for 43 years until he was let go in 1996. PELLEGRINI also served as the producer, host and longtime "voice" of the CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA's and LYRIC OPERA OF CHICAGO's radio broadcast series for many years.
A MEMORIAL SERVICE is scheduled for JULY 18th (which would have been PELLEGRINI's 80th birthday) at MAYFAIR LUTHERAN CHURCH, 4335 W. Lawrence Ave. in CHICAGO. More details to come.