Just like the BBC Proms

En route to its five-city tour of South Africa, the Minnesota Orchestra will stop for a one-off concert in London at the BBC Proms, the world's most prestigious summer classical festival. But first, Twin Cities audiences can preview the orchestra's all-American Proms program. This week's send-off concert features the frothy overture to Leonard Bernstein's operetta "Candide" and soloist Inon Barnatan playing Gershwin's bluesy Piano Concerto. There's also a rare opportunity to hear Charles Ives' Second Symphony, a work soaked in musical Americana. (7:30 p.m. Wed., Orchestra Hall, Mpls., $25-$80, 612-371-5656 or minnesotaorchestra.org)

Rarities from the 17th century

The Twin Cities Early Music Festival presents a recital by Incantare, an instrumental ensemble featuring sackbuts, violins and an organ. The group joins vocalists Clara Osowski and Andrew Kane for a program of rarely heard music related to the Thirty Years War in Europe. (8 p.m. Fri., the University Club, St. Paul, $5-$20, tcearlymusic.org)

Best of John Williams

Brainerd's Lakes Area Music Festival kicks off its 10th summer season with "Symphony Under the Stars," an outdoor fundraising gala. Conductor Christian Reif leads the festival orchestra in excerpts from favorite film scores by John Williams, including "Harry Potter," "Superman" and "Star Wars." (6 p.m. Sat., the Pines, Grand View Lodge, Nisswa; $100-$125, 1-218-670-0425 or lakesareamusic.org)

Singing with Bernstein

The Oratorio Society of Minnesota presents "Leonard Bernstein at 100," marking the great composer's birth centenary with a program of vocal music. Yes, there will be snippets from "West Side Story" and "Candide." Also featured are excerpts from less familiar works, including "On the Town," "Wonderful Town," "Peter Pan" and "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue." Artistic director Matthew Mehaffey leads a festival chorus of 150 singers, with tenor Mario Perez, mezzo-soprano Adriana Zabala, soprano Madison Holtze, plus a stage band. (7:30 p.m. Sat., Ted Mann Concert Hall, Mpls.; $15-$30, oratorio.org)

Christmas in August

Founded five years ago, Vox Nova Chorale is an auditioned ensemble that provides an annual forum for emerging choral singers and conductors. This year's concerts feature Christmas music by Minnesota composers, led by artistic director and conductor Vicki Peters. (7.30 p.m. Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., St. Mary's Chapel, St. Paul Seminary, St. Paul; free, voxnovachorale.org)