Swedish season opener

The diaphanous Second Violin Concerto by Swedish composer Anders Hillborg received its world premiere in Stockholm just under a year ago. And this week the Minnesota Orchestra gives the piece its U.S. premiere in a concert featuring outstanding violinist James Ehnes. The rest of the concert crackles with orchestral fireworks, with John Adams' "Short Ride in a Fast Machine," Berlioz's bustling "Roman Carnival Overture" and Stravinsky's "Firebird" suite. Osmo Vänskä conducts, commencing his 14th season as the orchestra's music director. (11 a.m. Thu., 8 p.m. Fri. & Sat.; Orchestra Hall, Mpls.; $12-$96, 612-371-5656 or minnesotaorchestra.org)

Creative kickoff

The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra kicks off its 2017-18 season in typically inventive fashion with Jessie Montgomery's "Banner," a feisty take on "The Star-Spangled Banner." The program also features Beethoven's Triple Concerto, plus a rare and welcome opportunity to hear "Variaciones Concertantes" by the great Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera. (8 p.m. Fri. & Sat., 2 p.m. Sun.; Ordway Concert Hall, St. Paul; $12-$50, 651-291-1144 or thespco.org)

A more relaxed Tchaikovsky

LOFTrecital is one of several grass-roots collectives recently to spring up, presenting classical music outside the formality of traditional concert halls. Its new season opens with a performance of Tchaikovsky's Piano Trio by New York's acclaimed Lysander Piano Trio. (6:30 p.m. Sat., Museum of Russian Art, Mpls.; free, registration required at facebook.com/LOFTrecital)

Korean virtuosos

The piri, taepyongso, saenghwang and daegeum are not instruments we hear in Western symphony orchestras. They are, in fact, wind instruments from the Korean tradition, equating to the flute and oboe family. Music lovers can get acquainted with these instruments in a recital featuring virtuoso players Gamin and Seungmin Cha. (7:30 p.m. Wed., Studio Z, St. Paul; $10-$15, studiozstpaul.com)

Most valuable music teacher

Was Nadia Boulanger the greatest music teacher of the 20th century? Almost certainly. Aaron Copland, Elliott Carter and Philip Glass were among the many American composers to beat a pathway to her Paris studio, along with a host of important musicians from other countries. Who was she? What made her special? A new play by former Minnesota Orchestra cellist Mina Fisher considers these questions. Minneapolis singer/actor Christina Baldwin plays Boulanger while the Bakken Trio performs music by Bach, Stravinsky, Copland and more. (4 p.m. Sun., 7:30 p.m. Sept. 18, MacPhail Center for Music, Mpls.; $20-$30, 612-374-3175 or bakkentrio.org)