Cantus and Lorelei

The eight men of Cantus join the nine women of Boston's elite Lorelei ensemble. If previous Cantus collaborations with Chanticleer and Sweet Honey in the Rock are any indication, an evening of high-quality music is in the offing. (Sept. 20, Ordway Concert Hall, St. Paul, $30-$55, 651-224-4222 or

Nicola Benedetti

Recently named the Schubert Club's inaugural "Featured Artist" resident, Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti kicks off an exciting season of programming by playing Brahms' three violin sonatas. (Oct. 2, Aria, Mpls., $30, 651-292-3268 or

VocalEssence 50th

Born 50 years ago as Plymouth Music Series, VocalEssence marks 50 years with a grand anniversary concert featuring choirs and soloists. Philip Brunelle, artistic director for the last half-century, directs the assembled forces. (Oct. 7, Ordway Concert Hall, St. Paul. $20-$40, 651-224-4222 or

Zeitgeist and No Exit

Zeitgeist teams up with its Cleveland new music counterparts for a concert featuring Minnesota and Ohio composers as well as the late Julius Eastman. (Oct. 12-14, Studio Z, St. Paul, $10-$15,

Mahler's Seventh Symphony

The Minnesota Orchestra is midway through performing and recording all 10 Mahler symphonies. Next up is the Seventh, perfectly suited to conductor Osmo Vänskä's unsentimental style. (Nov. 2-3, Orchestra Hall, Mpls. $12-$97, 612-371-5656 or

'Silent Night'

Minnesota Opera honors the 100th anniversary of the World War I armistice by reviving Kevin Puts' 2011 "Silent Night," the most successful product of his New Works Initiative. (Nov. 10-18, Ordway Center, St. Paul, $25-$168, 612-333-6669 or

Shai Wosner

Pianist Shai Wosner has earned critical raves for his Schubert sonata recordings. The wonderful G major Sonata (D. 894) anchors Wosner's recital for the Frederic Chopin Society. (Nov. 11, Macalester College, St. Paul, $15-$30, 612-822-0123 or

'Shaker Loops'

Violinist and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra artistic partner Pekka Kuusisto serves up a feast of American music, with John Adams' "Shaker Loops" as the centerpiece. Also featured are works by Pauline Oliveros, Missy Mazzoli and Steve Reich. (Nov. 23-25, Ordway Concert Hall, St. Paul, $12-$50, 651-291-1144 or

'The Consul'

Brand-new Arbeit Opera Theatre offers a rare staging of Gian Carlo Menotti's 1950 opera "The Consul," with its bitingly topical plot about a refugee fleeing a totalitarian country. (Nov. 29-30, Wellstone Center, St. Paul, $20-$30,

Christopher Maltman

Ducks, turkeys, mice, a warthog and an armadillo — all feature into "Carnival of the Animals," a themed song recital by the outstanding baritone Christopher Maltman. (Nov. 29 & Dec. 1, Ordway Concert Hall, St. Paul. $28-$67, 651-292-3268 or