The finale to the Columbus Symphony Orchestra's season is tres fantastique.

The finale to the Columbus Symphony Orchestra's season is tres fantastique.

The program's centerpiece is Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique, a marvel of a work by the 19th-century French composer. One of The Beat's favorite orchestral pieces, Symphonie fantastique finds Berlioz at the height of his power -- themes developed as a musical drama without words, and employing masterful blends and juxtapositions of tone and timbre.

The program, conducted by music director Jean-Marie Zeitouni, also includes two choral selections, Bach's Es ist Genug and Brahms' Ach arme Weld, both featuring the Ohio State University Chorale. Rounding out the program is a guest turn by violinist and friend of JMZ, Vadim Gluzman, who joins the CSO for Berg's Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, a piece which quotes the aforementioned Bach chorale.

The concerts are set for Friday and Saturday, May 3 and 4, at the Ohio Theatre. Tickets are $25-$65. Visit

A couple of big-name-yet-still-underground rap artists are coming Columbus in the coming days.

Former Wu-Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah brings his 12 Reasons to Die tour to the A&R Bar Friday, May 3. Ghostface is probably the most prolific former Wu-Tang member, and recently completed his 10th solo record (of the same name as the tour). A powerful storyteller, Ghostface enlisted producer Adrian Younge for 12 Ways, and the influence of Younge, known for retro-soul/jazz/R&B sounds, is strongly felt.

Younge's band Venice Dawn opens. Tickets are $25/$27.

Tech N9ne boasts a delivery that's as concussive as his beats, partnered with a deftness of vocabulary and dexterity of delivery. The rhymes themselves are not Tech's strong suit.

His tour, with Brotha Lynch Hung, Krizz Kaliko, Kutt Calhoun, Ritz and Ces Cru, stops at the Newport Music Hall Monday, May 6. Tickets are $20/$22. Visit

An evening of fresh-faced dreaminess and an abundance of pop-rock catchiness is in order at The Bluestone Tuesday, May 7, as Ryan Cabrera, Tyler Hilton and Teddy Geiger take the stage.

This intimate, acoustic show will feature these singers' best-known tunes as well as some new material.

Tickets are $14.50 (those under 21 pay an additional $3 surcharge at the door). Visit

Hard as it can be to separate a star's work from their stardom-impacted personal life, it can be even more so for young artists who are just as likely to be stretching their creativity as spreading their wings.

So, while some are concerned with country starlet Taylor Swift's apparent determination to be like the lovelorn young ladies in her songs, The Beat finds ourselves enjoying those songs less than we did on her earlier records. That said, she seemed to have mastered the art of the 3:30 melodic pop-rock (country) song, so more power to her for working at her craft.

Swift's RED Tour, with opener (and Everything Has Changed duet partner with Swift Ed Sheeran, potentially worth the price of admission on his own), plays Nationwide Arena Wednesday, May 8.

Sadly, there is naught but single tickets remaining for this show. Visit

Big-voiced torch singer Trixie Whitley attracts immediate attention with her emotional, bluesy delivery. She is a singer, man.

So she's setting that instrument front-and-center on a solo tour, self-accompanied on piano and guitar, in support of her debut full-length, Fourth Corner. The tour stops at The Basement Wednesday, May 8.

Johnny Nicholson and Erica Blinn open. Tickets are $10/$12. Visit