Critically acclaimed but lesser-known, French-Canadian pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin is an artist comfortable in many periods. He joins the famous -- as much as classical music can be other than Yo-Yo Ma -- Takacs Quartet for a performance of Shostakovich's Piano Quintet in G minor at 7:30 p.m. The concert, on the Pittsburgh Chamber Music Society series, also includes Schubert's "Rosamunde" Quartet and Britten's Quartet No. 1. Carnegie Music Hall, Oakland. $15-$35; 412-624-4129 or pittsburghchambermusic.org.
"An Evening With ... Barbara Ehrenreich" will take place at the GRW Theatre in the Point Park University Center, 414 Wood St., Downtown, at 6 p.m. Ms. Ehrenreich is the author of 21 books, including "Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America" and another best-seller, "Bright-Sided: How Positive Thinking Is Undermining America" (2010). As journalist, author and activist, Ms. Ehrenreich is an active advocate for health care, peace, women's rights and economic justice. A reception will immediately follow the program. The event is free.
City of Asylum/Pittsburgh presents Venezuelan author Israel Centeno and Prime Stage Theatre's Justin Fortunato reading from Mr. Centeno's novel "La Torre Invertida" ("The Tower Overturned"), translated by Ezra Fitz, at 330 Sampsonia Way, North Side. Doors open at 7 p.m. for a reception, and the reading begins at 7:30 p.m. This event is free, but seating is limited; call 412-321-2190 to make a reservation.
Two local contemporary music groups, Alia Musica Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, present a competition for Pittsburgh-related composers at 7:30 p.m. at Carnegie Mellon University's Kresge Theater. Works by Molly Joyce, David Liptak, David Stock, Sean Neukom and James Ogburn will be performed, with the winning composer getting a commission from PNME. Tickets: $10-$15; www.alia-musica.org.
The Magnetic Fields perform at the Carnegie Lecture Hall, Oakland, at 8 p.m. as part of The Andy Warhol Museum's Sound Series. The band is led by Stephin Merritt, who has also written songs for the books of "Lemony Snicket," composed music for a stage adaptation of Neil Gaiman's "Coraline" and was the subject of a documentary ("Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and The Magnetic Fields"). The band's albums include the recent "Love at the Bottom of the Sea" and "69 Love Songs." Emma Straub, author of "Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures" and "Other People We Married," opens the show with a solo reading. For tickets, $30/$25 members, www.warhol.org or 412-237-8300.
When Music in a Great Space, the concert series at Shadyside Presbyterian Church, and the Organ Artists Series team up, it adds up to one of the best pipe organ concerts in town. This year, the two organizations co-present organist Joan Lippincott, professor emerita of Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton at 4 p.m. $5-$12; 412-682-4300theater - books - music