CHARLIE CHAPLIN WROTE one classic popular song--"Smile," from the 1936 film "Modern Times"--while composing the scores for every film he made, from "City Lights" (1931) to his swan song, "A Countess From Hong Kong" (1967). This wasn't an idle fancy, either: Before becoming one of filmdom's great comedians, Chaplin had honed his acting, dancing and musical skills as a music hall performer in England. On Friday, tenor Michael Snyder and pianist Ellen Thacher will offer "The Songs of Charlie Chaplin," ranging from the saloon-style "Sing a Song" (from 1925's "The Gold Rush") to "You Are the Song," which Chaplin wrote for "The Gentleman Tramp," a 1975 documentary about his life and career.

--Richard Harrington

At the Sumner School, 17th and M streets NW. Friday at 7 p.m. Free. 202-727-3425.

SEVEN YEARS AGO, AVANT-GARDE Austrian guitarist and violinist Wolfgang Muthspiel and his brother Christian (trombone, piano) began developing pieces inspired by the works of the American painter and sculptor Cy Twombly. Among them, "Winter's Passage, Luxor," a 1985 work of wood, nails and paint (reimagined as a solo acoustic guitar meditation), and "Wilder Shores of Love," an oil, crayon, colored pencil and pencil on wood work interpreted by Wolfgang's electric and bowed guitar loops and Christian's trombone and prepared piano. An album of these works, "CY," has just been released on the Austrian Lotus label.

At the Embassy of Austria, 3524 International Court NW. Friday at 8 p.m. Free but reservations required, call 202-895-6776.

FOLK REVIVALS HAVE SWEPT the world in the past 25 years, including Eastern Europe, where the Okros Ensemble has been one of the leading advocates for the village music of Hungary and Transylvania. Now, the ensemble is touring with one of its great inspirations, 78-year-old folk violinist Sandor Fodor, as well as cimbalom virtuoso Kalman Balogh. The passionate string-driven music ranges from lively dances like the csarda to aching Gypsy laments.

--Richard Harrington

At Paint Branch Unitarian Universalist Church, 3215 Powder Mill Rd., Adelphi. Monday at 8 p.m. $16. For tickets and information, call 301-270-9090 or 301-263-0600.


YO-YO MA doesn't even know how to give a bad concert. Next weekend, the immensely popular cellist takes the stage with the National Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Leonard Slatkin. Not one concerto but 3 1/2 are on the program. Rather than repeat the same program two nights in a row, Ma will perform two entirely different programs, spanning a stylistic range from Dvorak's beloved opus to contemporary works by Richard Danielpour and the English mystic John Tavener.

--Phillip Kennicott

Friday and Saturday at 8:30 p.m. at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. $30-$95. 202-467-4600.


THERE IS STILL TIME. Only a day. Only this day. But there is still time--to catch the last screenings at the 1999 Latin American Film Festival at the American Film Institute. And it's a full day, too, four screenings of three films: At 2 p.m., "The Silence of Neto," a Guatemalan film from 1954, a coming-of-age story played against the backdrop of a coup. At 4, "Foolish Heart," another look at growing up in a Latin country (Argentina). At 6:30 and 8:30, "The Last Carnival," a Colombian film based on a bizarre case from 1988.

--Stephen Hunter

At the American Film Institute, the Kennedy Center. $6.50. 202-833-2348.


EACH YEAR THE NEWLY NAMED Corcoran College of Art and Design (formerly the Corcoran School of Art) pumps out about 75 bachelor of fine arts graduates and offers art classes to countless others. Philip Brookman, the Corcoran Gallery's curator of photography and media arts, has selected 25 alumni works to feature in the Fourth Biennial Corcoran Alumni Hemicycle Exhibition. Highlights include Carol Gellner Levin's "Fertility," an eerie sculpture of eight white life-size babies, and "Corporate Culture," a gothic-looking steel dress by Donna M. McCullough.

--Nicole Lewis

In the Corcoran Gallery of Art's Hemicycle Gallery, 500 17th St. NW. Through Oct. 4. Free. 202-639-1700.