Sad news from Andrew Patner today: Norman Pellegrini, the first employee of WFMT (soon joined by a pre-Second City Mike Nichols) and the station’s program director from 1953 to 1996, has passed away at the age of 79. Patner has a tribute on his blog, and the station will naturally be paying homage to Pellegrini today, as well as offering free streaming archival material on their Web site, though it doesn’t seem to be up yet.

In other classical music news, the Grant Park Chorus is performing a free program of modern American classical at the Harris Theater tonight, including Paul Crabtree’s Five Romantic Miniatures (From the Simpsons). The first performance of the program, on Tuesday, drew a rave from Chicago Classical Review.