The Artaria String Quartet is focusing on Beethoven this season. The composer's early Quartet Op. 18, No. 2, opens the ensemble's recital for the Schubert Club's Courtroom Concert series. Also featured is Prokofiev's less well known Second Quartet. (Noon Thu., Landmark Center Courtroom 317, St. Paul; free, schubert.org)
Lovers of American music can really gorge this week, thanks to a great pair of programs during the Minnesota Orchestra's "American Expressions" festival. Concerts for Thursday and Friday feature jazz composer Artie Shaw's Clarinet Concerto, Copland's Clarinet Concerto and symphonies by Barber and Hanson. Saturday and Sunday bring a rare opportunity to hear 20th-century composer Florence Price's First Symphony, plus Schuman's "New England Triptych" and Twin Cities composer Steve Heitzeg's "American Nomad" featuring Minnesota Orchestra trumpeter Charles Lazarus, who premiered the piece in 2015. (11 a.m. Thu. & 8 p.m. Fri.; 8 p.m. Sat. & 2 p.m. Sun.; Orchestra Hall, Mpls.; $12-$102, 612-371-5656 or minnesotaorchestra.org)
'An ear toward pleasure'
With his new work "Asunder," composer and jazz pianist Vijay Iyer first sought to reflect the broken, often anxious feel of American life today. Instead he opted "to imagine unity anew" with "an ear toward pleasure." Co-commissioned by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Midwest premiere of "Asunder" shares a bill with an improvisatory new work called "Autoschediasms" by multi-instrumentalist Tyshawn Sorey. SPCO artistic partner Pekka Kuusisto also conducts Beethoven's "Creatures of Prometheus Overture" and Ravel's "Le Tombeau de Couperin." (11 a.m. & 8 p.m. Fri., 8 p.m. Sat.; Ordway Concert Hall, St. Paul; $12-$50, 651-291-1144 or thespco.org)
Virtuoso Russian violinist Ilya Kaler joins the Minnesota Sinfonia for its first concerts of the new year. Kaler plays Henri Vieuxtemps' Fifth Concerto and Jules Massenet's Méditation from "Thaïs." Led by Sinfonia artistic director Jay Fishman, the program also features Ingrid Koller's "A Simple Melody" and Bizet's Symphony in C. (7:30 p.m. Sat., Temple of Aaron, St. Paul; 3 p.m. Sun., Temple Israel, Mpls.; free, mnsinfonia.org)
Broadway and more
Guest conductor Tesfa Wondemagegnehu leads One Voice Mixed Chorus in "Beyond Broadway: Not Just a Stage," a sparkling program of musical numbers — with a dash of opera for good measure. That means music from "Fun Home," "Avenue Q," "Les Misérables," "Rent," "Ragtime" and "The Sound of Music." (7:30 p.m. Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., Ted Mann Concert Hall, Mpls. $12-$49, onevoicemn.org)