Singer Randy Blythe of Lamb of God. The group will appear here on Friday.
PSO and Glass
The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has never played a work by Philip Glass on its main concert series, but that will change this weekend when violinist Tim Fain performs the composer’s Violin Concerto No. 2 (“The American Four Seasons”). The program, led by the German conductor Christoph Konig, also includes Respighi’s “Belfagor” Overture and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 (“Pastoral”).
Since the late 20th century, Mr. Glass, who turns 79 this month, has been one of classical music’s most significant figures.
Mr. Fain, 39, is a close collaborator with Mr. Glass in tours and concerts, including playing with him as a piano-violin duo. This year, the American violinist also released a recording of Mr. Glass’ music, including the Partita for Solo Violin, which he commissioned.
“There’s something very rhapsodic about the way he was writing for solo violin, and I am so happy to see that in the interlude movements of the Second Violin Concerto,” Mr. Fain told the PG.
While the concerts mark Mr. Fain’s Heinz Hall debut, his sound may be familiar: He played the violin for the movies “Black Swan” and “Twelve Years a Slave.”
Concerts are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Heinz Hall, Downtown. Tickets are $20-$94; 412-392-4900 or www.pittsburghsymphony.org.
The Segah Festival, an exploration of the shared histories of Persian and Turkish music, brings concerts aplenty this weekend. The festival is sponsored by various entities at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, along with the Pittsburgh Turkish American Association.
At 8 tonight, Layla Ramezan will perform solo piano music by Iranian and Turkish composers at CMU’s Alumni Concert Hall. On Friday, head to Carnegie Music Hall at 8 p.m. for a program of traditional and contemporary Persian and Turkish music conducted by Daniel Nesta Curtis and Erberk Eryilmaz and including works by Mr. Eryilmaz and CMU professor Reza Vali. The festival concludes at Alumni Concert Hall on Saturday with a showcase concert of Persian and Turkish instruments (including the Persian hammer dulcimer, Turkish clarinet and Persian/Turkish spike fiddle and more) at 5:30 p.m.
Admission for the piano concert is free; the other concerts are $10, free for CMU and Pitt students, faculty and staff. Information: www.segahfestival.com or 724-799-2067.
Junie B.’s tips and tricks
“Junie B.’s Essential Survival Guide to School,” from Theatreworks USA, checks in with one of the publishing world’s favorite elementary school students.
This all-new musical adventure based on Barbara Park’s popular book is described as: “From bus rules to Band-Aids, carpools to cookies, Junie B. and friends deliver the definitive word on surviving and thriving in style.”
Part of the Citizens Bank Children’s Theater Series, it is recommended for ages 3-11. It continues at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. today at Marshall Middle School; 7 p.m. Friday at Hopewell High School; 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday at Mt. Lebanon High School; and 2 p.m. Sunday at Seneca Valley Intermediate High School.
More info on the show: theatreworksusa.org. Tickets: $10.50 or $12 at the door if available; trustarts.org or 412-456-6666.
Epps at Improv
Mike Epps, who appeared in “The Hangover” and “The Hangover Part III,” performs at the Pittsburgh Improv at The Waterfront in Homestead.
Most recently, the actor-comedian co-starred in the Starz original series “Survivor’s Remorse” and will star in the TV series “Uncle Buck,” which debuts later this year. Times are 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. Friday, and 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets: $35-$50; www.improv.com or 412-462-5233.
Wild Child party
“More like a house party than a concert” is how the Austin, Texas, indie-pop group Wild Child describes its shows.
Blending pop, gypsy and folk, Wild Child, led by singer/violinist Kelsey Wilson and ukulele player/singer Alexander Beggins, debuted in 2011 with “Pillow Talk” and recently released a third album, “Fools,” with a wider musical palette.
It’s at the Rex Theater, South Side, at 8 tonight. Tickets are $13-$15; ticketfly.com.
Books in the ’Burgh presents Barbara Burstin, author of “Steel City Jews in Prosperity, Depression and War 1915-1950.” Ms. Burstin, who teaches history at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh, also is author of a book of images called “Jewish Pittsburgh.” She speaks at the Senator John Heinz History Center’s Library & Archives Reading Room from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Admission to the event is free but does not include access to museum exhibitions. The history center is at 1212 Smallman St., Strip District. Information: 412-454-6000 or www.heinzhistorycenter.org.
Metal night at AE
The first big metal show of 2016 finds Lamb of God, the roaring metalcore band from Richmond, Va., topping a bill with some ’80s legends.
It’s a chance for a closer view of LoG, who were on the bill with Slipknot at the First Niagara Pavilion in August. The tour supports the release of the Grammy-nominated eighth album, “VII: Sturm und Drang” (German for “storm and stress”), an aggressive, rage-filled record that deals in part with frontman’s Randy Blythe’s ordeal of being held in a Czech prison dungeon, charged with causing a fan’s death two years earlier by pushing him off the stage. He was acquitted of the charges.
Anthrax, one of the Big Four thrash bands (with Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer) and famed for breaking down musical barriers in the late ’80s by collaborating with Public Enemy on “Bring the Noise,” is celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2016, preparing for the release of the new album “For All Kings” on Feb. 26.
Not to be overlooked here is the appearance of Deafheaven, a San Francisco band that majestically melds black metal with melodic shoegazer rock. Also on the bill is Powertrip.
It’s at Stage AE; doors at 6 p.m. $35-$39; ticketmaster.com.
GABI at Warhol
GABI is Gabrielle Herbst, an acclaimed New York composer and vocalist who puts “crystalline” falsetto harmonies over a chamber orchestra.
While training at Bard College she went from writing for chamber orchestra and mixed instrumentation to using a loop pedal to compose short-form, vocal-centric compositions. She released her debut album, “Sympathy,” earlier this year, working with Matthew O’Koren (percussion), Rick Quantz (viola), Josh Henderson (violin) and Aaron Roche (electric guitar / trombone).
Sleep Experiments open the show at The Andy Warhol Museum, North Side, at 8 p.m. Friday. $12-$15; www.warhol.org or 412-237-8300.
“Will Rap for Cash,” a show at the Smiling Moose on Friday, was originally set to be a birthday party that fell through and turned into a concert.
Billy Pilgrim will host the event, which will feature Truth Be Told, Common Wealth Family, Barz Blackman, Lazy JP, Cory Eaux, Yungn Voorheez, Tek Bennet and Joel Kellem.
Organizer Elizabeth Kivowitz notes that “in the hip-hop scene, most shows are pay to play. Since I have been throwing shows, my No. 1 priority has been to get artists paid.”
It begins at 9:30 p.m. at the Moose at 1306 E. Carson St., South Side. Admission is $10; over 21. www.smiling-moose.com.
The sixth annual Winterfest takes over Butler County’s Moraine State Park noon to 4 p.m. Saturday with a chili cook-off, snowshoeing, horse-drawn wagon rides, ice carving, chainsaw carving, dog-sledding, music and Pittsburgh Penguins mascot Iceburgh.
Admission is free. Go to www.VisitButlerCounty.com.
New Phipps show
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens offers a warm escape with the opening of the four-week Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show, highlighting the art of caring for and growing these challenging plants.
Hanging baskets of pink and purple orchids and chandeliers will fill The Palm Court, The Sunken Garden will be packed with bursts of color, and the Serpentine Room will feature the artful techniques of bonsai.
It opens Saturday and runs through Feb. 28. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and until 10 p.m. on Fridays. Admission is $15; $14 for seniors and students; $11 for kids 2-18). Members and kids under 2 enter free. Details: phipps.conservatory.org.
Celebrating metre and verse
Poetry lovers have reason to celebrate this Saturday as poets Angele Ellis, Kristofer Collins and Jonathan Moody kick off the 2016 Versify Reading Series at the East End Book Exchange in Bloomfield. The special time of 5-7 p.m. was set to allow for attendees to then trek over the 40th Street Bridge to Panza Gallery in Millvale where the opening reception for “Verse Envisioned” will roll from 6-9 p.m.
“Verse Envisioned” is a project featuring 25 poems (chosen by committee) from more than 1,100 that have been published over a period of 22 years in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Writers include Samuel Hazo, Terrance Hayes, Jan Beatty and more with artworks by Terry Boyd, Christopher Ruane and Devan Shimoyama to name a few.
The book is available for purchase online at www.post-gazette.com.
Lost Coins found
Fans of bluesy, Stonesy rock ’n’ roll are directed to The Valley Hotel in Clairton Saturday for the release party for “Blue Eyed Babies,” the new album from Mark Cyler & The Lost Coins.
The frontman is a local scene veteran who started in the ’70s as guitarist/bassist in country-hillbilly band Larry Wayne & the Wranglers and later went on to play with Gil Snyder and Gary Scalise before forming Mark Cyler & the High Rollers as well as playing in Broken Mojo.
“I always loved the Stones,” he says, “and it was my goal to form my own band with this English version of Americana, which I’ve always loved.”
The Lost Coins also features Australian guitarist Dennis James, whose addition to the band, Mr. Cyler says, allowed it to take off musically.
Songs like “Linda Miss Linda,” “My Heart Begins to Tremble” and “I Got Time, I Got Love, I Got You” are growling bar-rock songs that should heat up a January night.
It’s at 9 p.m. at 1004 New England Hollow Road with Marty Zundel. No cover. For more info, search Mark Cyler on Facebook.
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