ART

"Drawings of Jacques de Gheyn," at the National Gallery of Art, offers museum goers a small but totally engrossing submersion into the mystical Dutch world of this late 16th- and early 17th-century artist.

CLASSICAL MUSIC

Choral music blossoms in the spring almost as spectacularly as the cherry trees in Washington, and usually a few weeks earlier. Today's choral bouquet will include Haydn's "The Creation," performed by the Oratorio Society tonight at the Kennedy Center, his "Lord Nelson" Mass performed by the Capitol Hill Choral Society this afternoon at the Riverside Baptist Church, and Bach's rarely heard St. Mark Passion, performed by the Washington Bach Consort, this afternoon at the National City Christian Church. Gluttons for choral music will also be able to hear the Asaph Ensemble performing parts of Bach's Mass in B Minor Wednesday night in the Terrace Theater, the Masterworks Chorus performing Bruckner's Mass in E Minor Saturday night at Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church, the Fairfax Choral Society in a program titled "Voices Unbounded," Saturday night at the National Presbyterian Church and the Paul Hill Chorale in Beethoven's rarely heard "Christ on the Mount of Olives," with the Washington premiere of Ned Roren's "An American Oratorio," next Sunday at the Kennedy Center. There will also be a solo vocal recital: baritone Robert White, Tuesday night at the Terrace Theater.

Andres Segovia will make his annual visit to Washington Saturday evening in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall.

Michael Tilson Thomas will be the guest conductor with the National Symphony this week, with violist Marcus Thompson as guest soloist. The program will include Mahler's Fifth Symphony and Telemann's Viola Concerto. The other major orchestral event of the week will be the performance by Charles Dutoit and the Montreal Symphony, Friday night in the Kennedy Center, performing Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony and Beethoven's First Piano Concerto with Alicia de Larrocha as soloist.

Operas of the week: Weill's "Threepenny Opera," given by the Prince George's Civic Opera, Friday night at Prince George's Community College, and the Baltimore Opera's production of "I Pagliacci" and "Cavalleria Rusticana," opening Thursday night at the Baltimore Opera House.

Chamber music of the week: Charles Stier and Gary Louie in rarely heard music for the clarinet and the saxophone, tonight at the Terrace Theater; the Contemporary Music Forum in music of Canada tomorrow night at the Corcoran Gallery; the Vienna String Sextet, Friday night at the Library of Congress; National Musical Arts, Friday night at the National Academy of Sciences; Music From Marlboro, Saturday afternoon at the Library of Congress; the Theater Chamber Players, Saturday night in the Terrace; violinist Joseph Bykov Saturday night at the Dumbarton Avenue Church, and cellist Oliver Edel, Saturday night at the Corcoran.

A new series, "Music of the Spheres," will present a program of early music related to spring, Saturday night in St. Mark's Episcopal Church on Capitol Hill.

DANCE

Just about everything happening in dance during this activity-packed week is of special interest. The events are: Washington-born performance artist Christopher Janney in a solo program under the auspices of the American National Theater at the Kennedy Center's Free Theater this afternoon; the first of six free programs in a new dance/film lecture series, "Footroots," exploring the influence of folk, ethnic and vernacular dance on theatrical forms -- sponsored by Dance Arts/Moving Arts. The first program, "A Primer for Looking at Dance on Film and Video," with David Parker as speaker, begins at 4 p.m. at the American Film Institute Theater. Also, Mary-Averett Seelye's program of dance and poetry at the Church of the Epiphany this afternoon; an appearance by the Coleman Dance Ensemble and Irish step-dancer Thomasina Flatley with the noted Irish music group the Chieftains at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall Monday night; eight performances of three programs by the Joffrey Ballet at the Kennedy Center Opera House, Wednesday through Sunday; a film about choreographer Pina Bausch at the Hirshhorn Museum Friday and Saturday; the return after an absence of four years by Laura Dean Dancers and Musicians, in a program of three Washington premieres at the Warner Theatre, Friday and Saturday; the crackling Washington troupe, Daniel West Dancers, in a retrospective program of West's choreography at the Montgomery College Performing Arts Center Friday night; and, at the Mosque in Richmond, the Richmond Ballet's full-length "Swan Lake," in the Nicolas Beriozoff production, with guest dancer Marco Pierin of La Scala Ballet and ballerina Maria Gisladottir as the principals, Friday through Sunday.

FILM

It is Macbeth Week at the Library of Congress' Mary Pickford Theater, with film versions by Roman Polanski (Monday), Trevor Nunn (Tuesday), Ken Hughes (Wednesday), Orson Welles (Thursday) and Akira Kurosawa (Friday). Call for details.

Washington filmmaker Rob Gardner's Academy Award-nominated documentary short "The Courage to Care" will play before "Chariots of Fire" tonight and tomorrow at the Biograph.

Among current releases, Woody Allen's "Hannah and Her Sisters"; Ken Burns' "Huey Long."

POP MUSIC

Experience a musical St. Patrick's Day with both a local and an international twist: Celtic Thunder will be at Georgetown University's Copley Hall tonight, while the Chieftains make their annual stopover at the Kennedy Center on Monday.

A few months back, Ian Tyson filled the Birchmere with old Ian and Sylvia Tyson fans. This weekend it's Sylvia's turn.

Two excellent guitarists who are emerging as distinctive songwriters: Michael Hedges, who's at Blues Alley on Monday, and George Gritzbach, at the WES Auditorium Saturday.

Saxophonist Sonny Fortune made his reputation with McCoy Tyner and Miles Davis, but he's never received the attention his playing has warranted. He'll be at the One Step Down Friday and Saturday.

THEATER

Lucian Pintilie's revelatory staging of "The Wild Duck" (at Arena Stage's Kreeger Theater) is theatrical artistry at its finest. Endlessly probing, sardonically entertaining, breathtakingly original, it casts a whole new light on Henrick Ibsen, whose revolutionary brilliance has been dulled by decades of sober, high-minded productions. Without once betraying the 19th-century Norwegian playwright, Pintilie and the Arena cast make him look brand new.

"Social Security" ( at the National Theatre) isn't the best structured Broadway comedy you'll ever see. But it's got a personable cast, headed by Marlo Thomas and Ron Silver, and a generous supply of laughs.