PSO taps Bell
One of the world's most renowned violinists, Joshua Bell, returns to the Heinz Hall stage for performances with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra of Edouard Lalo's "Symphonie espagnole."
Conducted by Victor de Sabata guest conductor Gianandrea Noseda, the orchestra will also perform Liszt's "A Faust Symphony," based on characters from Goethe's play. The concerts are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $25.75-$105.75; 412-392-4900 or www.pittsburghsymphony.org.
On Saturday, the PSO will also perform "Carnival of the Animals," one of its Fiddlesticks family concerts conducted by Lawrence Loh, with cartoon artist Joe Wos drawing illustrations to music by Saint-Saens. Discovery time activities, including tortoise races, arts and crafts and dancing, begin at 10 a.m., with the concert starting at 11:15 a.m. Tickets are $12-$22.75; 412-392-4900 or www.pittsburghsymphony.org.
Fourth River and Soweto
The Fourth River Music Project of Duquesne University's Mary Pappert School of Music will present the music of composer David Borden at 7:30 p.m. at the Dr. Thomas D. Pappert Center for Performance and Innovation. The minimalist composer is spending a week as a composer in residence at the school. Using keyboards and laptops, a trio will perform Mr. Borden's "Variations on a Theme of Philip Glass" and "Earth Journeys," as well as Lynn Purse's "Terrible Things." $10 donation suggested; more at 412-396-6083.
* Tackling everything from American pop to African gospel, the Soweto Gospel Choir takes the Byham stage, Downtown, at 7:30 tonight. Founded in 2002 in South Africa, the 30-member-strong chorus spreads musical messages of hope and joy. Tickets: $20-$45; www.trustarts.org or 412-456-6666.
Silk Sound, a concert fusing Asian musical traditions and American jazz, takes the stage at Bellefield Hall auditorium in Oakland. Musicians playing everything from tabla and erhu to percussion and saxophone include Jeff Booth, Matt Booth, Samir Chatterjee, Mimi Jong, Ben Opie, Chris Parker and Harish Saluja.
The show starts at 7 p.m. Friday. $15-$35; more at www.silkscreenfestival.org.
American classics at The Frick
The Frick Art & Historical Center is opening "An American Odyssey: The Warner Collection of American Painting" on Saturday.
The important Warner Collection features such Impressionists as Childe Hassam and Theodore Robinson, with Hudson River School works falling in between.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Elizabeth Mankin Kornhauser will offer a free public lecture at 1 p.m. Saturday. The exhibition runs through May 25.
The preview party runs 6 to 8 p.m. Friday with wine and hors d'oeuvres. Cost is $12, $10 members; reservations recommended; 412-371-0600.
Renaissance City Choir, Pittsburgh's only GLBTA chorus, will perform "Unexpected Broadway," a cabaret concert of Broadway hits and mash-ups, at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at East Liberty Presbyterian Church. Songs include selections from "The Sound of Music," "Kinky Boots" and "Annie Get Your Gun."
The concert repeats March 7-9. Tickets are $20; $25 at the door; $40 VIP. More at www.rccpittsburgh.com.
Avetts and more
Saturday night might be the biggest concert night in Pittsburgh this year. The biggest size-wise is the Avett Brothers returning to town for the first time in two years to play the Petersen Events Center in Oakland with Old Crow Medicine Show.
The punk hillbillies from North Carolina, who worked their way up from playing Club Cafe in 2006, are touring on last year's "Magpie and the Dandelion," and while it wasn't their most rockin' effort, there are only a few songs from it in their almost 30-song set. The show is at 7:30 p.m. (ticketmaster.com).
• Meanwhile, the venerable Richard Thompson can be found at 8 that night at the Byham (see Page W-8), and Stage AE plays host to what is billed as Flogging Molly's 10th annual and final Green 17 Tour, marking a lead-up to St. Patrick's Day.
The Celtic rock band from LA isn't breaking up -- there's a follow-up to 2011's "Speed of Darkness" due next year -- it's just not going to tour this time of year. "To everyone who at one time or another has joined us on the Green 17 tour, from the bottom of our collective glass, we say cheers to each and every one of you," singer Dave King said in the announcement. Doors are at 7 p.m. Tickets: $38.50; ticketmaster.com.
• Also, on Saturday, The Cynics are back in action at Cattivo, Mr. Smalls has the Female Voices of Metal Fest (see W-9), Altar Bar has Swedish death metal band Dark Tranquility (7 p.m. $18; www.thealtarbar.com) and The Andy Warhol Museum has the JACK Quartet as part of the Music on the Edge Series (8 p.m.; $15-$20; www.warhol.org).
Renaissance and Baroque and the Pittsburgh Camerata host Downton/Dahntahn Abbey, a fundraising event at 4 p.m. at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, 6300 Fifth Ave., Shadyside. Upstairs is the "Downton," with wine and "elegant savories"; "Dahntahn" is where Pittsburgh-style snacks and beer reside.
In addition to music provided by the groups, there will be a silent auction, and guests are invited to dress in 1920s vintage clothing. $50-$75; 412-361-2048 or www.rbsp.org.
NEED TO KNOW
• Comedian Taylor Williamson, the recent second-place winner on "America's Got Talent," performs at the Pittsburgh Improv, Waterfront, at 8 tonight; 8 and 10:15 p.m. Friday; and 7 and 9:15 p.m. Saturday. Tickets: $20; www.improv.com or 412-462-5233.
• Directed by Susan Medley, the Pittsburgh Concert Chorale will sing Durufle's Requiem, Faure's "Cantique de Jean Racine" and Mozart's Te Deum at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Ingomar United Methodist Church, Franklin Park, and 4 p.m. Sunday at Fox Chapel Presbyterian Church. The concerts feature organist David Billings, mezzo-soprano Eva Rainforth and baritone Charles Cohen. Tickets are $20 in advance, $22 at the door, $8 for students and free for children under 12; www.pccsing.org or 412-635-7654.
• Drusky Entertainment is launching a new series starting with "A Comedy Roast for Charity -- of Keith Stover," a Pittsburgh police officer, at the Hard Rock Cafe, Station Square, at 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Admission $15. All proceeds benefit the NBIA (Neurodegeneration with Brain Iron Accumulation) Association; ticketfly.com.