ONSTAGE THIS WEEK
“‘No more taxes!’ they all shouted, and then they pumped their fists, and I said, ‘What about the potholes?’ and they said, ‘Communist!’” The line, from Dan Bern’s “Talkin’ Tea Party Blues,” is just one small slice of irreverent humor pie to be tasted in the L.A. singer-songwriter’s vast catalog of catchy original songs that channel Guthrie, Dylan, Springsteen, and a variety of sad, skeptical, cynical, serious, and snarky ghosts from Bern’s storied past. (He once named his band, with the best of tonguein-cheek intentions, the International Jewish Banking Conspiracy.) Catch this class and crass folk-rock/talkin’ blues act at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 22, at the Santa Fe Performance Exchange (formerly Mike’s Music Exchange), 7 Caliente Road, Eldorado, $15 at the door, 466-3116. Listeners who can’t get enough Beethoven will have a busy weekend as Santa Fe Pro Musica offers three separate all-Beethoven programs at the
Lensic Performing Arts Center (211 W. San Francisco St.). At 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 27, Thomas O’Connor conducts the Sixth Symphony and Fifth Piano Concerto (with Per Tengstrand); at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 28, Tengstrand and violinist Colin Jacobsen, above, play sonatas; and at 6 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 29, the mini-festival concludes with the Violin Concerto (with Jacobsen) and Seventh Symphony. For tickets, $15-$65, call Pro Musica at 988-4640, ext. 1000 or 988-1234, www.ticketssantafe.org. The concertmaster of the Buffalo Philharmonic, Michael Ludwig has developed a parallel career as a touring concerto soloist. He takes up his classic Cremonese violin, built in the late 1700’s by Lorenzo Storioni, when he appears as soloist with the Santa Fe Symphony. Steven Smith conducts the performance, which takes place at 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 23, at the Lensic Performing Arts Center, 211 W. San Francisco St. Samuel Barber’s much-loved Violin Concerto will be on the music stands, along with Berlioz’s Rob Roy
Overture and Brahms’ Symphony No. 4. A free preconcert lecture takes place at 3 p.m. For tickets ($20-$70), call 983-1414 or 988-1234; www.ticketssantfe.org. Following several competition victories in the early 1990’s, the Armenian pianist Sergei
Babayan settled in the United States, where he teaches at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Los Alamos Concert Association presents him at
8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 22, at Duane Smith Auditorium (Los Alamos High School, 1300 Diamond Drive); tickets ($35) are available at the door or in advance ($30) from Nicholas Potter Bookseller (211 E. Palace Ave., 983-5434). In addition to works by Chopin and Rachmaninoff, Babayan offer a group of pieces by Scriabin, including Vers la flamme, a difficult work from 1914 that presumably depicts the destruction of the Earth due to overheating.