CLASSICAL MUSIC

The Washington Chamber Orchestra has canceled its next concert, scheduled for this month, and is seriously looking at the possibility that it may have to suspend its operations entirely. Other chamber orchestras struggle on. Washington will hear the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Philippe Entremont, this afternoon and the Academy of Ancient Music, conducted by Christopher Hogwood, Saturday night, both at the Kennedy Center. The Beethoven Society Orchestra will give a concert featuring American Indian musicians this afternoon at the Capital Hilton, and the Montgomery Chamber Orchestra will perform Saturday evening at the National Bureau of Standards.

Also on the orchestral menu: the Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Erich Leinsdorf, tomorrow night; the National Symphony's "Orchestra Night" Wednesday; and a pops concert featuring Chet Atkins Thursday night, all at the Kennedy Center.

The most significant Washington premiere of the week will feature a work neglected for quite a while, Handel's opera "Rodelinda," this evening at the Kennedy Center.

Virgil Thomson, one of the living monuments in American music (celebrating his 90th birthday) will be featured on videotape before a concert of his vocal music, tomorrow night at the Strathmore Performing Arts Center.

Pianists of the week: Jeremy Menuhin, this afternoon at the Terrace Theater and Saturday night at the Jewish Community Center; Marc Ponthus, Wednesday night at the French Embassy; William Black, fellow of the La Gesse Foundation, Friday night at the Corcoran Gallery.

Highlights of the week's chamber music activity: the Atrium Musicae of Madrid, tomorrow night at the Terrace Theater; the National Gallery Vocal Arts Ensemble, making its debut tonight at the National Gallery; Terzetto, a trio of guitar, flute and cello, this afternoon at Mount Vernon College; cellist Kari-Lise Ravnan, today at the Phillips Collection; violinist Oscar Shumsky with pianist Menahem Pressler, Friday night at the Library of Congress; Belgian guitarist Raphaella Smitz, Friday night at Georgetown's Gaston Hall; the Fresk Quartet, Saturday night at the Barns of Wolf Trap; and the Washington Chamber Society, Saturday night at Wesley United Methodist Church. DANCE

Meredith Monkbrings her multimedia epic of 1976, "Quarry," to the Kennedy Center's Free Theater this week for eight performances starting Tuesday evening. "Quarry" enjoys an almost legendary status, with good reason -- not to be missed.

The Maria Benitez Spanish Dance Company returns to the Dance America series for four performances at the Terrace Theater starting Wednesday evening.

Cosan Arts Institute presents "Women of Color -- Weaving a Cultural Artistry," a dance concert featuring dancer-choreographer Pearl Reynolds and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar at Howard University's Cramton Auditorium Friday night. FILM

The American Film Institute tribute to director Billy Wilder continues. Call 828-4040. The noir landscapes series at the Library of Congress continues with Carol Reed's "The Third Man" and Jacques Tourneur's "Out of the Past." Call 287-5677.

Among current releases: Woody Allen's "Hannah and Her Sisters" and the documentary "Huey Long." POP MUSIC

Tenor saxophonist Bill Evans has emerged as one of the bright young voices in mainstream jazz; he's at Blues Alley Monday.

Mel Torme, the velvet-voiced veteran vocalist, can still sing up a storm. He'll hold forth (and some flatted fifths) at Blues Alley Tuesday through Sunday.

Several of the significant voices in the New Acoustic movement -- Daroll Anger, Mike Marshall, Barbara Higbie and Mark O'Connor -- join forces at the Barns on Friday.

Composer/conductor/saxophonist Peter Gordon brings his provocative Love of Light Orchestra down from New York for a concert of vanguard, art-rock music at Lisner on Saturday.

Jackson Browne joins Holly Near, Danny O'Keefe, Rumisonko and a number of speakers in a concert for sanctuary and peace in Central America Saturday at Constitution Hall.