Chamber music on ice

Chamber music in an informal setting. That's the whole idea behind Accordo's regular visits to Icehouse bar and restaurant in south Minneapolis. On the menu for Accordo's latest Icehouse date are Beethoven, Penderecki and Schubert — specifically the "Trout" Quintet — played by leading members of the Minnesota and St. Paul Chamber orchestras. (7:30 p.m. Tue., Icehouse, Mpls.; $12-$24, 651-292-3268 or

Breaking expectations

Grammy-winning violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja returns to Minnesota for a St. Paul Chamber Orchestra program that's sure to break expectations. She partners with regular recital partner Polina Leschenko for Mendelssohn's Concerto for Violin and Piano, plus more works by Clara and Robert Schumann. Kopatchinskaja also leads the orchestra in Haydn's magnificent "Farewell" Symphony, featuring a final movement that sputters to a conclusion as each group of instruments gradually stops playing. Expect Kopatchinskaja to choreograph a theatrical ending. (11 a.m. Fri., 8 p.m. Fri. & Sat.; Ordway Concert Hall, St. Paul; $12-$50, 651-291-1144 or

A million reasons to sing

The Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus introduces new artistic director Gerald Gurss with "A Million Reasons to Believe," the choir's annual holiday concert. The program features a mix of traditional and modern pieces along with lighthearted sketches and the premiere of a new Gurss composition. (8 p.m. Fri. & Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., Ted Mann Concert Hall, Mpls.; $25-$53, 612-624-2345 or

Meet the Bach contemporary

Ever heard of Johann Ernst Galliard? Learn more about this German-born Bach contemporary who moved in England's royal circles. Baroque bassoonist Joseph Jones leads a lecture recital featuring Galliard's sonatas and operatic excerpts. (Noon Fri., Baroque Room, St. Paul, $22-$36, free, thebaroque

Bach for Christmas

Bach's "Christmas Oratorio" covers some of the same biblical events as Handel's "Messiah," which makes for a refreshing take on the familiar Christmas story. It's been a year since Minnesota Orchestra first partnered with Minnesota Chorale to perform the first half of Bach's joyful masterpiece. Now they complete the journey with Parts 4-6. That includes the Wise Men's visit and Herod's Slaughter of the Innocents. Scottish baroque specialist Nicholas Kraemer conducts. (8 p.m. Sat., 2 p.m. Sun.; Orchestra Hall, Mpls.; $12-$70, 612-371-5656 or