The Friday Morning Music Club, celebrating its centennial, will sponsor two free programs this week: choral music by club members this afternoon at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Alexandria and chamber music at noon Friday in the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church.. Tomorrow is the evening for contemporary music in Washington: "Songs of Earth and Sea" by Barto'k, Crumb, Weber and others presented by the Contemporary Music Forum at the Corcoran Gallery and new works for piano by Philip Mead at the Strathmore Hall Arts Center.
Earlymusic comes in on the weekend, with the Folger Consort performing music of Monteverdi at the Folger Shakespeare Library Saturday night, the Boston Camerata exploring "The Roots of American Music," Friday night at the Library of Congress, and the Baltimore Consort in a program titled "The Ballad Monger," Saturday night at Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church.
Jean-Pierre Rampal, conducting the National Symphony Orchestra for the second week of his current visit, will bring along his flute as well as his baton for a program of Mozart and Salieri.
Musical highlights today: clarinetist Giora Feidman at the Kennedy Center, pianist Diana KacsoYES.DNS. at the Phillips Collection; mezzo-soprano Kimball Wheeler at the Renwick Gallery.
Also worth noting: soprano Irene Gubrud, Friday night in the Terrace Theater; pianist Marc-Andre' Hamelin, Saturday at the Library of Congress; a Homage to Brahms by the Theater Chamber Players, Saturday night in the Terrace Theater; a new choral work celebrating the search for peace, "A Critical Mass," by Frances McKay, Saturday night in St. Mark's Church, Capitol Hill; the Handel Festival Orchestra, Saturday night in the Terrace Theater.
American Ballet Theatre concludes its current visit with two performances of "The Nutcracker" this afternoon and evening at the Kennedy Center Opera House. In conjunction with the Smithsonian's "Hollywood: Legend and Reality" exhibition, the Philadelphia Tap Dancers (LaVaughn Robinson, Sandra Janoff and Germaine Ingram) will present a salute to classic tap and soft-shoe masters in a film, "Dancers of the Silver Screen," at Baird Auditorium this afternoon. A free film-lecture program, "Character and Characterization: Ballet's Debt to the Folk Tradition," will be presented in the "Footroots" series this afternoon at the American Film Institute Theater, with Suzanne Levy as host. Tomorrow night's "Fun Raiser" at the popular club Tracks will be an evening of dancing, special guest appearances and prizes as a benefit for the Dance Exchange. The KanKouran West African Dance Company will perform Friday evening at Howard University's Cramton Auditorium. Improvisations Unlimited presents its most recent program, including Kei Takei's new "Flower Field," at George Washington University's Studio K Theatre Friday and Saturday evenings.
Splendid interdisciplinary fare awaits the moviegoer at the National Gallery of Art's "Through the Frame: Film Encounters the Painterly Image," continuing through June 21. This week, "John James Audubon: The Birds of America," and "Ordet." Call 727-4215 for information. Among current releases: "My Beautiful Laundrette" and "Parting Glances."
If you love saxophone or guitar, this is your week. First, on saxophone: tenor colossus Sonny Rollins makes a rare club appearance at Blues Alley tomorrow and Tuesday; on Friday, it's youngbloods Chico Freeman and Arthur Blythe, heading up an astounding combo traveling as the Leaders, for three shows at d.c. space; and veteran Hank Crawford holds down the fort at Woody's Hilltop Pub Friday and Saturday.
Guitar highlights include eclectic rockist Alan Holdsworth, at the 9:30 club on Sunday; blues man Johnny Winter, at the Bayou on Tuesday; local favorites Danny Gatton and Pete Kennedy at the Birchmere on Wednesday, and Charlie Byrd at the King of France Tavern, Friday through Sunday; performs solo at Lisner Auditorium on Thursday; and flat-picking champion Dan Crary, with fiddler Byron Berline and John Hickman, at the Birchmere on Friday.
Joe Williams may not need to sing the blues since becoming a semiregular on the Cosby show, but he still does, some think better than ever: at Blues Alley, Wednesday through Sunday.
The Bobs are avant-garde Persuasions, a cappella wonders who prefer the expansions of that first great instrument, the human voice. At the East Side on Thursday.
Lyle Mays takes a break from his longtime partner Pat Metheny to unveil a new trio at Lisner Auditorium on Thursday.
Pete Seeger heads up an all-star labor union music program at Lisner Auditorium on Saturday, with Hazel Dickens, Joe Glazer, Joe Uehlein and Earl Robinson.