Tomorrow afternoon brings one of the highlights of the region's musical calendar when the Birmingham Bach Choir gives its annual Good Friday performance of Bach's St Matthew Passion at Symphony Hall.

This is always an event charged with both dignity and emotion, and this year the BBC and the English Chamber Orchestra are joined by a distinguished group of soloists headed by Christopher Gillett as the Evangelist and the imposing presence of Paul Whelan as Christus. Paul Spicer conducts this quintessential Easter offering, which begins at 2pm and, with an extended interval for tea, ends around 6pm.

Something very different is happening at the venue on Wednesday, when the latest in the innovative GIGS4U series brings together the Britten Sinfonia and an eclectic mix of soloists: Andy Sheppard (saxophones), Kuljit Bhamra (tabla), Neville Malcolm (bass) and Seb Rochford (drums). Joanna MacGregor is the pianist/director in this programme where "Bach meets Moondog".

The first half of the evening brings a sequence of music by Moondog, the Manhattan street musician who dressed as a Viking, made his own instruments, and apparently composed 80 symphonies.

After the interval comes MacGregor's own arrangement of Bach's last testament, The Art of Fugue (7.30pm, with a free informal conversation with some of the artists at 6.15pm).

And next Thursday at Symphony Hall the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain makes the latest of its always welcome visits. Gianandrea Noseda conducts a programme of Tchaikovsky's testing but lovely Serenade for Strings and Berlioz's virtuosic Symphonie Fantastique. Between them comes Stravinsky's Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments, with Alexander Korsantya as soloist.

A pre-concert recital at 6.15pm brings the chance to hear premieres of works by young composers associated with the NYOGB, with the main concert beginning at 7.30pm.

As this is one of the rare quiet periods in the region's musical life, it gives an opportunity to look forward to events later in the spring and summer, with a week-long residency from the Kirov Opera, swapping its home in St Petersburg's Mariinsky Theatre for Symphony Hall at the end of May.

The charismatic and staggeringly hardworking Valery Gergiev is the presiding genius in a succession of events which include a celebration of Shostakovich's centenary featuring his great Stalin-satirising Tenth Symphony as well as the Birmingham premiere of his Third (May 23); two well-loved operas in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin (May 24) and Verdi's La Forza del Destino (May 25), and a rarity in RimskyKorsakov's opera-ballet Mlada (May 27, all three operas in concert-performance).

Completing the week is an evening featuring Rachmaninov's haunting and devotional Vespers, w hen chorus-master Andrei Petrenko conducts the Chorus of the Kirov Opera (May 26, all Symphony Hall details on 0121 780 3333).

Plans have also recently been announced for a weekend at Leamington's Royal Pump Rooms celebrating the music of Mozart and Schubert, a Phoenix-like enterprise rising from the ashes of what had always been rewarding festivals in the spa town.

Among the many illustrious performers are Ensemble 360, pianist Martin Roscoe (whose programme includes Schubert's otherworldly B-flat Sonata) and the Brodsky String Quartet.

All details of this weekend which runs from June 9 to June 11 are available on 01926 776438, as well as the website ..SUPL: