Keefe plays Brahms

Apart from cellist Jacqueline du Pré and Daniel Barenboim, and pianist Martha Argerich's partnership with Charles Dutoit, it's hard to think of husband and wife teams who've performed concertos together on the international classical circuit. Enter Erin Keefe and Osmo Vänskä, concertmaster and music director of the Minnesota Orchestra. Their collaboration in the cut and thrust of Brahms' mighty Violin Concerto, a melting pot of vaulting drama and glowing lyricism, should be fascinating to witness, in a program which also includes music by Kevin Puts and Nielsen's Sixth Symphony. (8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., Orchestra Hall, Mpls. $29-$79. 612-371-5656 or


Baroque music has been increasingly colonized by specialist ensembles playing instruments of the period, so it's good to see the super-versatile St. Paul Chamber Orchestra buck the trend in a string of concerts led by English conductor and harpsichordist Laurence Cummings. American soprano Joélle Harvey performs two cantatas by Handel, with excerpts from Purcell's delectable semi-opera "The Fairy Queen," based on Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream." The SPCO strings also run selections from John Dowland's Lachrimae, a masterpiece of mourning and melancholia, Elizabethan-style. (7:30 p.m. Thu., Plymouth Congregational Church, Mpls. 8 p.m. Fri., Wayzata Community Church, Wayzata; 8 p.m. Sat., Ordway Concert Hall, St. Paul. $13-$53. 651-291-1144 or

The cultural cross-fertilization of VocalEssence's ¡Cantaré! program, in which composers-in-residence from Mexico embed with high school and community ensembles in the metro area, is celebrated in two free concerts at the Ordway. Participating choirs join with the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers in a family-friendly, bilingual setting. (6 & 8 p.m. Mon., Ordway Concert Hall, St. Paul. Free. 651-224-4222 or

Professional recorder quartets are few and far between, but Quinta Essentia from Brazil is one of them. It brings a typically offbeat program, pairing excerpts from Bach's monumental Art of Fugue transcribed for a recorder consort, with music from the quartet's native country. (7:30 p.m. Wed., the Baroque Room, St. Paul. $10-$20.

Charlie Chaplin was, of course, a giant of motion pictures. He was also a composer, and the score to "City Lights" is one of his finest achievements. Hear it in a 35mm presentation of the movie at the Heights Theater, with a live recital on the cinema's Wurlitzer pipe organ as a curtain raiser. (7:30 p.m. Mon., Heights Theater, Columbia Heights. $8. 763-789-4992 or

Terry BlaiN