Gunther Herbig will be the guest conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra this week in a program that will include Beethoven's Seventh Symphony and Schubert's Fifth. A "Prelude Concert," at 7:15 p.m. in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, will feature three members of the orchestra playing a Beethoven string trio.
The National Gallery of Art will begin its season of free concerts this evening with music director George Manos conducting the National Gallery Orchestra.
Two of the week's most unusual programs will be presented in the Terrace Theater. Wednesday night, the New World Consort will perform unpublished works of Charles Tomlinson Griffes, including one work that involves the participation of life-size puppets. Saturday and next Sunday, the Theater Chamber Players will give a program that includes vocal music from the ancient Squarcialupi Codex as well as Benjamin Britten's rarely heard "Canticle II: Abraham and Isaac" and chamber music of Barto'k.
Two special treats for lovers of vocal music: the King's Singers, Monday night in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, and soprano Arleen Auge'r, Tuesday night in the Terrace Theater.
The Auryn String Quartet, also scheduled to perform here later this month in the Schubert, Schubert and Schubert Festival, will make its Washington debut today at NIH. Other quartets to be heard this week include the Eakins, this afternoon at River Road Unitarian Church; the Manchester, Friday night at the Holton Arms School; the Cleveland, Friday night at the Corcoran Gallery and Saturday night at the University of Maryland; and the Juilliard, Friday night at the Library of Congress.
Pianists of the week include Krystian Zimerman, Thursday night in the Terrace Theater; Jeffrey Siegel, Saturday afternoon in the Terrace Theater; and Daria Telizyn, in a benefit concert for the victims of Chernobyl, Tuesday night at Mount Vernon College.
Also worth noting: cellist Marcio Carniero, Friday night in the Terrace Theater; soprano Sally Stevens, this afternoon at the Phillips Collection; and chamber music by members of the National Symphony, Monday night at the Jewish Community Center in Rockville.
Ballet West concludes its visit to the Kennedy Center Opera House this afternoon with a final performance of "Sleeping Beauty." Tango Argentino, the sizzling dance revue, continues its run at the Warner. The Washington Ballet inaugurates its new performance series in Baltimore Saturday with an afternoon and evening program at the Lyric Opera House.
Marti Jones, who sings 'em just as if she'd written 'em (though she usually hasn't), brings her brand new band to the 9:30 club tonight.
It's Hall of Famers and youngbloods sharing the stage Monday night at Constitution Hall, where jazz giants Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Wynton Marsalis, Tony Williams, Herbie Hancock and others join hosts Bill Cosby and Debbie Allen in a fundraiser for the Thelonious Monk Jazz Center -- which may end up in Washington.
Video made the radio star: Norway's pretty popsters, A-ha, come to Constitution Hall on Tuesday.
That Uptown, Upbeat Guy, Billy Joel, is at Capital Centre on Friday.
D.C. space continues its jazz history month with three powerful ensembles: Douglas Ewart's Clarinet Choir on Friday, Sun Ra and his Arkestra on Saturday and Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy on Sunday.
David Mamet's "The Water Engine" is set in the 1930s in a Chicago radio studio, where a group of actors is broadcasting a play about an inventor, a miraculous engine that runs on water and some thugs who want to steal the patent. Entertaining, if slight, the 1977 work has been expertly mounted by the Round House Theatre.
At the Studio Theatre, "Cuttin' a Rug" proves a worthy sequel to "The Slab Boys," with which it alternates in repertory. "Slab Boys" shows us three lower-class Scottish teen-agers at work in a carpet factory. In "Cuttin' a Rug," the boys let loose at the annual factory dance.
Duke Ellington's last major work, "Queenie Pie," may or may not be an "opera" as he described it, but it has a lot of vintage Ellington music that has been seldom or never heard before. It will begin a month-long run Wednesday at the Eisenhower Theater, allowing Washingtonians to renew acquaintance with the finest composer born in this city.