I’m going to chime in with five weekend picks — besides, of course, the last weekend of the Rogue Festival:
KEYBOARD CONCERTS The Fresno State Philip Lorenz Memorial Keyboard Concerts series welcomes another young, world-class pianist. Kuok-Wai Lio was born in Macau in 1989 and received the 2013 Avery Fisher Career Grant. The program includes works by Schubert and Schumann. 8 p.m. Friday, March 6 in the Fresno State Concert Hall.
ARMENIAN GENOCIDE CENTENNIAL CONCERT Traditional Armenian music by the Chookasian Armenian Concert Ensemble and dance by the Hamazkayin Niari Dance Ensemble highlight this somber yet celebratory music event. 2 p.m. Sunday, March 8 at the Fresno State Satellite Student Union.
1. BEETHOVEN, WE LOVE YA
The Fresno Philharmonic delivers a feast of Beethoven this weekend. Guest artist is the career-on-fire Elena Urioste, who will play Beethoven’s violin concerto. Also on the program: the Coriolan Overture and the 3rd Symphony (“Eroica.”) I talk to Urioste and delve into the issue of the Fresno Philharmonic trying to expand its demographic reach in a big cover story in Friday’s 7 section. I’ve included an image of today’s cover — one of my favorites, thanks to a stunning photo. Concerts are 8 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 Sunday. [Details]
I’ve already told you about “Master Class” at the Shaghoian Hall. And don’t forget it’s a big weekend for film fans with the Fresno Film Festival. With that said, I’m going to devote my picks this week exclusively to classical music opportunities, of which there are many!
1. SAN JOAQUIN CHORALE
The ensemble devotes a majority of pieces in its spring program to works written by late 20th-century composers. Among them: a lively original composition by local composer and accompanist Kevin Memley; and the world premiere of a popular Korean folk song arranged by Joungmin Sur, a Fresno State graduate student. Roy Klassen conducts. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, First Congregational Church.
1. BATTLE OF THE CHAMBER MUSIC GROUPS
Is it a scheduling coincidence? Or a stringed-instrument blood match? Whatever the reason, the result is a Sunday afternoon chock full of chamber-music possibilities. At 3 p.m. at the Westminster Presbyterian Church, Moment Musical offers a “Sunday Serenade” featuring a 100th birthday tribute to Alan Hovhaness with a performance of his “The Garden of Adonis” Suite for Flute and Harp, featuring Laura Porter, left, and Janette Erickson. And at 5 p.m. at Fresno State’s Wahlberg Recital Hall, the Orpheus chamber series welcomes two distinguished musical guests from Austria: the Duo Schorn/Mancinelli ensemble consisting of guitarist Christina Schorn and percussionist Ivan Mancinelli.
Mike Oz gave you some great options, and I fall to my knees on a towel and praise the heavens that none of his picks involve 1) parolees; 2) hats; or 3) transmission of the H1N1 virus. Here are a few more weekend suggestions from the arts/culture side of the aisle:
LISTEN TO OPERA IN A MAGNIFICENT CHURCH: The Fresno Grand Opera’s annual “Opera on Van Ness” concert features “opera’s biggest hits along with the greatest of classical melodies sung by the Fresno Grand Opera Chorus and Soloists.” 5 p.m. Sunday, First Congregational Church, 2131 N. Van Ness Blvd. There’s a pre-performance Silent auction and reception at 4 p.m. presented in association with the church.