Conductor Neeme Jarvi.  Credit: Simon van Boxtel

Estonian National Symphony

The Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, that country’s leading orchestra and well known in the West for its recordings of Arvo Pärt, drops by Soka University as part of a U.S. tour. The venerable Neeme Järvi is on the podium to lead music by Pärt (the “Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten”), Dvorák (the Cello Concerto, with Narek Hakhnazaryan) and Sibelius (the majestic Symphony No. 5). 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $48-$58. Soka Performing Arts Center, Aliso Viejo. 949-480-4278 or

Perlman conducts

Still among the world’s most popular violinists, Itzhak Perlman has added conducting to his resumé in recent years. With violin and baton in hand, he visits the Los Angeles Philharmonic this week to lead performances of the “Summer” and “Winter” concertos from Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” (in which he also plays the solo part), Weber’s Overture to “Oberon” and Berlioz’s roof-raising “Symphonie Fantastique.” 11 a.m. Friday; 8 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $24-$191. Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles. 323-850-2000 or

South Coast Symphony

The pops-oriented South Coast Symphony, self-billed as Orange County’s “unstuffy symphony,” opens its season with a light but bona fide classical program featuring “the 3 Gs.” The program includes Glazunov’s “Autumn” from “The Seasons,” Gershwin’s Symphonic Selections from “Porgy and Bess” and Ferde Grofé’s beloved “Grand Canyon Suite.” 7:30 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $15-$40. Crossline Community Church, 23331 Moulton Parkway, Laguna Hills. 714-731-8079 or

Pasadena Symphony

The Pasadena Symphony launches the season with its new music director, British conductor David Lockington. The program tests everyone’s mettle: It opens with Shostakovich’s blistering “Festive Overture,” continues with Leonard Bernstein’s “Serenade” (based on Plato’s “Symposium” and featuring violinist Anne Akiko Meyers as soloist) and ends with Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring.” 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $35-$105. Ambassador Auditorium, Pasadena. 626-793-7172 or

Verdi’s Requiem

Conductor John Alexander and the Pacific Chorale, entering their 42nd season together and never singing better, open their schedule with the big operatic bang of Verdi’s Requiem in celebration of the composer’s 200th birthday. Soprano Amber Wagner, mezzo-soprano Nancy Maultsby, tenor James Valenti and bass Eric Halfvarson are the soloists. The Pacific Symphony joins in the thundering and somber masterpiece. 5:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $29-$129. Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. 714-662-2345 or

photo credit: Simon van Boxtel