Thursday-Friday: For the past several years, holiday performances of Handel's "Messiah" have been the purview of the Minnesota Orchestra. Since those concerts were canceled due to the lockout of the musicians, the musicians of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra have picked up the mantle, assisted by the Minnesota Chorale (Minnesota Orchestra's partner in this work in year's past). Internationally acclaimed conductor Hugh Wolff, the SPCO's principal conductor and music director from 1988 to 2000, will conduct. Soloists Karin Wolverton, soprano; Victoria Vargas, mezzo; Brad Benoit, tenor; and Richard Ollarsaba, baritone, also participate. (7:30 p.m. Thu.-Fri. $15-$45. Central Lutheran Church, 333 S. 12th St., Mpls. musiciansspco.org.)