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Classical Music Round-Up: Pianists and Prodigies

Lisa Bielawa's Kafka Songs

Described by The New York Times as "ruminative, pointillistic and harmonically slightly tart", Lisa Bielawa's music often draws from literary inspirations - this time from the more introspective of Franz Kafka's writings. Seven songs for violin and vocals (all performed by Carla Kihlstedt) comprise the aptly named Kafka Songs, in a program that also includes selections from Jürg Frey and Chou Wen-chung.

Jewish Community Center, 3200 California Street. March 4. Info at www.jccsf.org.

Sarah Chang in Recital

Sarah Chang started playing the violin at age four and promptly began studying at Juilliard. By the age of eight, Chang was performing with the New York Philharmonic. She recorded her debut CD - a classical bestseller - when she was ten. Chang has since matured (at the ripe old age of 29) into a captivating performer who's also addicted to Twitter. (Represent!)

Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Ave. March 7. Tickets are $37-53 at (415) 392-4400.

Mahler's Resurrection

Nothing like a good orchestral showpiece - complete with angelic choir - to bring on thoughts of heaven, eternity, and how to get there. Chase the San Francisco Symphony's rendition of Mahler's Resurrection with a nice spot of Sympathy for the Devil (not included in ticket price) and you've got yourself a Thursday evening.

Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave. March 11-14. Tickets are $15-130 at (415) 864-6000.

Dawn Upshaw and Emanuel Ax perform Schumann and Chopin

Two classical heavyweights - soprano Dawn Upshaw and pianist Emanuel Ax - collaborate on songs by Schumann and Chopin. Widely considered one of the best classical pianists alive, Ax brings a delicacy to the music that matches Upshaw's, who's been named "one of the most consequential performers of our time" by The LA Times.

Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave. March 20. Tickets are $15-86 at (415) 864-6000.

Chanticleer: Songs of Love & Loss, War & Peace

Chanticleer covers some pretty serious ground (see: love, loss, war and peace) in this tour. Singing some of the choral repertoire's most stunning music - Palestrina, Dufay, Janequin, Chen Yi, Gershwin, and others - Chanticleer's gorgeously harmonized melodies really do raise the roof. In a very sedate, we're-at-the-symphony sort of way.

San Francisco Conservatory of Music Concert Hall, March 20-21. Tickets are $10-44 at (415) 503-6275.