Celebrated Canadian violinist James Ehnes returns to Jones Hall to play Beethoven's Violin Concerto, a jewel of the violin repertoire, with Andrés Orozco-Estrada and the Houston Symphony. Also on the program is Bartók's lively Concerto for Orchestra, the Hungarian composer's most popular work. Thursday's performance of the Bartók concerto, part of the symphony's Musically Speaking Series, takes place at Rice's Stude Hall and feature musical commentary by Orozco-Estrada.
It’s hard to imagine a world without this beloved, oft-revived Meredith Willson musical, a show whose syrupy charm has drenched the continent many times over. But there was in fact such a world—the one that existed before 1957, when The Music Man made its Broadway debut and launched itself into the repertoire of every amateur and professional theater group in the country, 76 trombones and all. And if by some chance you have managed to avoid it, this is the perfect opportunity to finally face the music.
Thru May 17. $37.25–103.50. Sarofim Hall, Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby St. 713-558-8887. tuts.com
As a novelist, critic, essayist, and travel writer, the insatiably curious, intellectually omnivorous Dyer has helped redefine what it means to be a 21st-century man of letters. His latest book, Another Great Day at Sea, chronicles daily life on the USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier.
May 11 at 7:30. $5. Cullen Theater, Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas Ave. 713-521-2026. inprinthouston.org
Lana del Rey
Hollywood sadcore. Hawaiian glam metal. Internet-era torch songs. The achingly beautiful creations of Elizabeth Woodridge Grant—stage name Lana del Rey—have ignited an unofficial competition among music writers to coin the most imaginative description of the 29-year-old chanteuse’s lush, cinematic sound. After paying her dues as an opening act on several previous tours, del Rey comes to The Woodlands this month in the well-deserved role of headliner.
May 7 at 7:30. $25–79. Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, 2005 Lake Robbins Dr. 281-364-3024. woodlandscenter.org
From folk to electronica and everywhere in between, the music of Michigan-born singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sufjan Stevens spans a broader spectrum of styles and genres than most any musician working today. His latest work, the well-reviewed Carrie & Lowell, represents a return to the artist’s folk roots. The songs on the album, named for Stevens’s parents, were inspired by his mother’s struggles with schizophrenia and substance abuse.