A conducting debut

Australian conductor Simone Young has been music director at both the Hamburg State Opera and Hamburg Philharmonic, and made acclaimed recordings of Wagner, Brahms and Bruckner. Could she be in the running to replace Osmo Vänskä as the Minnesota Orchestra’s music director? Judge for yourself as Young makes her Orchestra Hall debut in a concert that includes Mahler’s “Blumine,” a movement originally written for the First Symphony, and his Rückert Songs performed by Irish mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught. Works by Ravel and Debussy also feature in a stylistically wide-ranging program. (8 p.m. Fri. & Sat., Orchestra Hall, Mpls.; $12-$125.75, 612-371-5656 or minnesotaorchestra.org)

Vänskä-Keefe duets

Before Vänskä became a conductor he was principal clarinet at the Helsinki Philharmonic. Conducting eventually took over, but he returns to his musical roots in a concert where he plays pieces for clarinet and piano by Sibelius, plus his self-penned Duo for Violin and Clarinet. Partnering him is his wife, Erin Keefe, concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra, who also performs Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No. 10 with pianist Mary Jo Gothmann. All three musicians join in Alexander Arutiunian’s Suite for Trio to complete an enticing recital. (3 p.m. Sun., Zion Lutheran Church, Anoka; $20, joyachambermusic.com)

 

Beethoven’s birthday

This year marks the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, and the Artaria String Quartet pays homage with a recital in the Schubert Club’s Courtroom Concerts series. The program pairs one of Beethoven’s earliest string quartets (Op. 18, No. 6) with the great 16th Quartet, his final essay in the genre. (Noon Thu., Courtroom 317, Landmark Center, St. Paul; free, schubert.org)

Czech chamber concert

The wind players of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra step into the limelight this week in a bespoke concert with a distinct Czech flavor. Dvořák’s Serenade in D minor — for oboes, clarinets, bassoons and horns, plus cello and double bass — is the centerpiece, along with works by Martinů, Farkas and Liadov. (7:30 p.m. Thu., Temple Israel, Mpls.; 8 p.m. Fri., Wayzata Community Church, Wayzata; 8 p.m. Sat., Saint Paul’s United Church of Christ, St. Paul; $11-$26, 651-291-1144 or thespco.org)

Isles does Debussy

Minnesota Orchestra violinist Helen Chang Haertzen has just released a solo CD titled “American Avenues.” She switches to French repertoire in the latest recital of the Isles Ensemble’s season, playing Debussy’s Violin Sonata with pianist Ivan Konev. Mozart’s Piano Trio No. 6 and Tchaikovsky’s String Quartet No. 1 also feature. (2 p.m. Sun., Lake of the Isles Lutheran Church, Mpls.; $10-$20, islesensemble.org)

TERRY BLAIN