Shostakovich on the hill

The Hill House Chamber Players draw their members from the Minnesota Orchestra and University of Minnesota faculty. The main work on the group's latest program is Shostakovich's Piano Trio No. 2, with local powerhouse Mary Jo Gothmann at the piano. Also featured are Mozart's Piano Quartet No. 1 and a string trio by Boccherini. (7:30 p.m. Mon. and May 6, James J. Hill House, St. Paul; $12-$23,

Where is the next Vänskä?

As the race to replace Minnesota Orchestra Music Director Osmo Vänskä begins in earnest, this week's visit by Spanish conductor Juanjo Mena should be viewed with interest. After making a successful debut with the orchestra two years ago, Mena's track record as chief conductor of the BBC Philharmonic makes him a solid candidate. He brings an intriguing program that juxtaposes symphonies by Haydn and Mozart with Leonard Bernstein's rarely heard "Serenade, After Plato's Symposium." Violinist Jennifer Koh is the soloist. (8 p.m. Fri. & Sat., Orchestra Hall, Mpls.; $12-$97, 612-371-5656 or

Viva Verdi

The most performed opera in the world last year, Verdi's "La Traviata" packs an indestructible mix of grand passions, thwarted happiness and gloriously expressive music. Minnesota Opera's new production features traditional 19th-century set design and costumes with a decidedly 21st-century cast. Director Louisa Muller makes her company debut, bringing a distinct perspective to the "truly modern heroine" Violetta. Sopranos Nicole Cabell and Cecilia Violetta López alternate the role of that heroic central character, while tenor Jesús León plays her lover Alfredo. (7:30 p.m. Sat. Ends May 19. Ordway Center, St. Paul; $25-$200, 612-333-6669 or

Brahms and more

A flexible group, Minneapolis-based chamber collective the Isles Ensemble rostered no fewer than eight players for its latest concert. Brahms' fulsomely romantic String Sextet No. 2 is the main attraction. Also featured are piano duets by Rachmaninoff and Beethoven's "Bei Männern" Variations for cello and piano. (2 p.m. Sun., Lake of the Isles Lutheran Church, Mpls.; suggested donation,

Keyed to Rachmaninoff

Boris Giltburg brings an all-Rachmaninoff program to his Minnesota recital, reflecting the pianist's critically celebrated recordings. That includes complete performances of both the Op. 23 and Op. 32 Preludes. (3 p.m. Sun., Mairs Concert Hall, Macalester College, St. Paul; $15-$30, 612-822-0123 or