ART In the retrospective of Elmer Bischoff's work, now at the Phillips Collection through Nov. 2, the roots of American contemporary abstraction that centered around the San Francisco Bay area are explored. Bischoff, though not on a par with Rothko or De Kooning, has a wonderful way with color and the moody lyricism of his early figurative works makes the show worth seeing.

CLASSICAL MUSIC

In an observance that has become traditional, the Shir Chadash Choral Society will sing music for the Jewish High Holy Days this afternoon at Washington Cathedral.

The highlight of the National Symphony's week will be a pops concert Wednesday night (repeats Thursday) with Doc Severinsen as the featured guest artist.

The recital by pianist Daria Telizyn, Friday night at the Levine School of Music, will be one of a series intended to aid the victims of the Chernobyl disaster.

Also worth noting: a concert of Colombian traditional music, Monday night in the Terrace Theater; pianist Robert Roux in the "Artistic Ambassador" series, Tuesday night in the Terrace; the Suk Trio, playing music of Beethoven and Dvorak, Wednesday night in the Terrace; the Washington Music Ensemble concluding its Canadian festival, Thursday night in the Terrace; chamber music by cellist Aurora Natala-Ginastera, pianist Santiago Rodriguez and guitarist Carlos Barbosa-Lima, Friday night at the Library of Congress; cellist Helen Kim, Saturday night at the Terrace; the Washington Chamber Society, Saturday night at the Wesley United Methodist Church on Connecticut Avenue.

DANCE

Russia's celebrated Moiseyev Dance Company completes its visit to the Kennedy Center Opera House this afternoon. The fiery dance revue Tango Argentino begins a three-week run at the Warner Theatre Tuesday night. The same evening, Utah's Ballet West commences a week's return visit to the Kennedy Center Opera House with its new production of "Sleeping Beauty," followed Wednesday night by a repertory program including Ashton's "The Dream," Loring's "Billy the Kid" and Andre Prokovsky's "Vespri." The engagement concludes with three performances of "Sleeping Beauty" Saturday and Sunday. "Vienna: Lusthaus" finishes a twice-extended run at the Eisenhower Theater with two nightly performances Tuesday through Saturday. "Festival of India: Music and Dance," at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall Friday evening, surveys a variety of Indian classical and folk styles. FILM The Heart of Darkness Film Noir Festival kicks off at the American Film Institute Thursday evening at 6:30 with Roman Polanski's "Chinatown," from a screenplay by Robert Towne. Friday and Saturday, Nicholas Ray's "They Live by Night" and Jean-Luc Godard's "Breathless."

POP MUSIC

A showcase for new and developing bands, sponsored by Spin magazine, brings the Beat Farmers, Marti Jones, the Call, Beat Rodeo and the Screaming Blue Messiahs to the University of Maryland's Grand Ballroom Monday. And the 9:30 club, which continues to feature bands like this on a regular basis, has Austin, Tex.'s True Believers and Reducers on Friday and the intriguing Timbuk 3 with the less attractive Dead Milkmen on Saturday.

That keystone band of the British folk-rock movement, Fairport Convention, is at the Bayou Thursday.

Jazz trumpeter Lester Bowie takes a break from the Art Ensemble of Chicago and brings his Brass Fantasy to d.c. space Friday; the next night, pianist Jaki Byard brings in the appropriately named Apollo Stompers.

THEATER

"The Slab Boys" are three lower-class teen-agers who mix paint pigments and glue on a marble slab in a Scottish carpet factory. A colorful, often comic, slice of proletarian life, the play is the first part of a trilogy by John Byrne devoted to the slab boys and spanning a 15-year period. With it, Studio Theatre, which will do all three parts in repertory, gets its season off to a rousing start.