Symphony Hall tonight hosts the UK premiere of Variations for Vibes, Pianos and Strings, commissioned from Steve Reich by the European Concert Hall Organisation in honour of the composer's 70th birthday later this year.
Reich is one of the most choreographed of contemporary composers, and this new work written specifically with dance collaboration in mind brings together different cultural starting points, with choreographer and dancer Akram Khan blending Western contemporary dance and the North Indian classical Kathak dance form.
Khan's own Dance Company joins the London Sinfonietta in the performance, and the evening also includes Steve Reich's seminal Sextet and Different Trains (7.30pm, free pre-concert talk by Reich specialist John Pymm at 6.15pm, details on 0121 780 3333).
Also tonight Birmingham Conservatoire vice-president and world-renowned pianist Peter Donohoe makes an intriguing foray into the music of Bach, playing all 24 preludes and fugues in Book I of the composer's great Well-Tempered Clavier at the Adrian Boult Hall (7.30pm, pre-concert talk from Donohoe at 6.30pm).
Tomorrow night the ABH is the venue for a unique three-part concert mixing young composers, a prize-winning composition featuring the Conservatoire's Indonesian gamelan, and Alban Berg's complex but rewarding Chamber Concerto, in which violinist David Chadwick and pianist Robert Birchall are joined by the enterprising Thallein Ensemble (7.30pm).
And staying at the ABH, on Saturday Birmingham Chamber Music Society ends its main 2005-06 season with a visit from the young Carducci Quartet, formed in 1993 from prize-winning graduates of top music conservatories. Their programme for BCMS begins with Haydn's witty D major Quartet, Op.50 no.6 (The Frog), continues with Britten's First Quartet, and concludes with Beethoven's second Razumovsky Quartet, Op.59 no.2 in E minor (7.30pm, all ABH details on 0121 303 2323).
This weekend brings some of our best-loved singers to Symphony Hall, beginning tomorrow night when mezzo Sally Burgess joins the CBSO and conductor Carl Davis for an evening of "Mediterranean Magic" (7.30pm). Then on Saturday Dame Felicity Lott and Sir Thomas Allen are joined by princely accompanist Malcolm Martineau in a programme ranging from "Strauss to Sondheim" (7.30pm, 0121 780 3333).
Elsewhere, too, Saturday is a hugely busy day, even by this region's standards. Solihull Choral Society brings Bach's St Matthew Passion to Olton Friary, St Bernard's Road, Olton at 6.45pm (01926-843571), while at Birmingham Cathedral the newly-formed Birmingham Cathedral Chorus offers a surprisingly rare opportunity to enjoy Stainer's Crucifixion (7.30pm, 0121 262 1840).
Emmanuel Church in Wylde Green, Sutton Coldfield, is the venue for the Sutton Coldfield Orchestra's spring concert conducted by the popular David Curtis. Birmingham Conservatoire graduate Rebecca Owen is soloist in Weber's Clarinet Concerto no.2, and the programme begins with Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld Overture, ending with Dvorak's Symphony no.8 (7.30pm, 0121 308 8755).
Stratford-upon-Avon's Shakespeare Centre is the venue for a fun concert entitled "Brush up your Shakespeare" with recitalists Pamela Hinchman (soprano) and Sylvia Wang (piano), beginning at 7.30pm (01789 204016), while Worcester Cathedral hosts a performance of Elgar's imposing The Kingdom given by the Worcester Festival Choral Society conducted by Adrian Lucas in this centenary year of the oratorio's premiere at the Birmingham Festival (7.30pm, 01905 611427). Kidderminster Choral Society promotes a spring concert by Wyre Forest Young Voices and Primary Chords in Kidderminster Town Hall (7.30pm, 01562 60112).
Two operatic ventures get underway tomorrow, with the Operamus company presenting Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel at St Francis of Assisi Church, Bournville (0121 472 5342, 7.30pm). There is a repeat performance at the venue on Saturday at 4pm, followed by visits to Netherton Arts Centre, Northfield Road, Dudley on Tuesday (7.30pm) and Stuart Bathurst School, Axletree Way, Wednesbury next Thursday at 7.30pm (same telephone number).
Meanwhile Midland Music Makers take up residence in St George's Church, Edgbaston tomorrow, offering a programme of Purcell's Dido and Aeneas and excerpts from other operas in English (7.15pm, repeated Saturday, details on 0121 778 3637).
On Sunday the long-running Series at the CBSO Centre brings together both its component elements when the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and Birmingham Jazz combine in a programme which features the premiere of a new Sound Investment commission, Blue Latitudes by Dave Douglas, alongside two masterpieces of "classical" contemporary music, Webern's Concerto and Ligeti's Chamber Concerto (7.30pm, pre-concert talk 6.30pm, details on 0121 767 4050). ..SUPL: