Miklos Pogany's abstract monotypes, collages and paintings, at the Phillips Collection through May 26, show a certain brooding thoughtfulness. So it comes as no surprise that the Hungarian-born Pogany was a professor of comparative literature before deciding to become an artist. CLASSICAL MUSIC

National Symphony music director Mstislav Rostropovich will play an even larger role in this week's musical events than is his normal wont.

On Thursday night he leads the orchestra in the first of four performances of a new Bassoon Concerto by Gunther Schuller for the NSO's first bassoon, Kenneth Pasmanick. Also on the program: Saint-Sae ns' First Cello Concerto (with soloist Lynn Harrel), Schubert's Fifth Symphony and Ravel's "Rapsodie espagnole." Then, on Friday, Rostropovich will direct the Choral Arts Society in Rachmaninoff's rarely heard "Vespers" at a special concert in St. Matthew's Cathedral.

Also at the Kennedy Center on Thursday will be a recital at the Terrace Theater by violinist Charles Treger and pianist Andre-Michel Schub. And on Friday the Theater Chamber Players of the Kennedy Center will give a recital at the Library of Congress, with works by Druckman, Kolb, Stock, Crumb and Fairchild. DANCE

The week's highlights include the Kennedy Center debut of the San Francisco Ballet at the Opera House Tuesday night, featuring works by artistic director Michael Smuin and the late American ballet pioneer, Lew Christensen. A highly innovative troupe from New York, The Adaptors, part of the contemporary "movement theater" development, present their drolly daring creation, "Autobahn," at Baltimore's Theatre Project starting Wednesday. The Smithsonian's "Salute to Washington Dance" closes a second year with Dancers' Choice, Friday night at Baird Auditorium. Wendy Woodson and Present Company present their unusual blend of dance and theater in a new program at Dance Place, Friday and Saturday. The Dondines Dancers of the Americas can be seen in a program of folk dance and music from Argentina at the Department of Commerce Auditorium Saturday night. FILM

The Biograph Theatre kicks off its "Auteurs" series with a special tribute to Erich Von Stroheim, including a newly restored print of "Queen Kelly," Stroheim's last film.

The Washington Film Reviewers series at the Library of Congress continues tomorrow night with Charles Laughton's "The Night of the Hunter," scripted by the incomparable James Agee, and starring Robert Mitchum. Introduced by Lloyd Rose, film critic of the Washington Weekly.

Tuesday and Wednesday, the Circle Theater will screen David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia," not-to-be-missed on the Circle's big screen.

Opening Friday, "George Stevens: A Filmmaker's Journey," George Stevens Jr.'s alternately lively and powerful, but always heartfelt, tribute to his father. POP MUSIC

Husker Du and Dumptruck, two of the better Amerindie movement bands, come to the 9:30 tonight. The downtown club has one of its best weeks overall with the glossy futurism of Katrina and the Waves on Thursday, the updated roots rock of the Beat Farmers on Friday and the irrepressible Joe "King" Carrasco on Saturday.

Magical Strings -- a Seattle duo specializing in harp and dulcimer perform at the Takoma Cafe on Monday.

Somehow, jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli swings better with age. He'll be at Blues Alley all week. Two fine pop-jazz vocalists are in town: Nancy Wilson, at Charlie's Georgetown Tuesday through Sunday, and Carol Sloane, at Park Place Friday and Saturday. And a perennial favorite, Roberta Flack, stages one of her infrequent homecomings at the Kennedy Center on Friday. THEATER

In the Kennedy Center Opera House, Hal Holbrook gives a final performance tonight of "Mark Twain Tonight," arguably the best one-man performance show around. And speaking of one-man shows, there's always Stephen Wade's eternally fresh "Banjo Dancing," now in its fourth year in Arena's Old Vat Room.