CSO does 'Beethoven's Fifth', Leon Russell, Manchester Orchestra and more round out this week's Fab 5.

Four notes. Three that are the same pitch, and each relatively short. One long pitch.

In spite of, or perhaps because of, its simplicity, the opening sequence of Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 remains among the best-known and most popular in all of musical history. The Beat asked Thomas Wilkins, who guest conducts the Columbus Symphony Orchestra in concerts that include "Beethoven's Fifth" this weekend, why.

"This music is universal because it is the quintessential expression of humankind's indelible spirit. 'Who among us,' (Beethoven) asks in the first movement, 'does not know challenge or struggle or opposition?'"

Universal, indeed. But Wilkins says there's more for the listener who stays to the end.

"With the flip of a switch he replaces an e-flat with an e-natural in the last movement. The result is more than just a change of key, more than a profound presentation of what true triumph sounds like. It is indeed a moment that changes whoever encounters it, forever."

The Friday and Saturday, Nov. 15-16, concerts at the Ohio Theatre also include Elgar's Violin Concerto featuring soloist Ilya Gringolts, and Ohio State University graduate Stephen Montague's Invictus.

Tickets start at $25. Visit columbussymphony.com.

A pair of classic keyboardists take to central Ohio stages Friday, Nov. 15.

Trailblazing jazz fusion keyboardist/ composer/producer Jeff Lorber has a new record out, Galaxy, and is on the road, with a planned stop at Worthington's McConnell Arts Center. Columbus' Urban Jazz Coalition opens. Tickets are $25/$30. Visit mcconnellarts.org.

Soulful blues/country-rock pianist Leon Russell takes the Woodlands Backyard stage the same night. Alex Dezen of the Damnwells opens. Tickets are $35. Visit woodlandsbackyard.com.

The Beat is not generally a fan of Justin Timberlake's music, but there is no denying his talent and appeal as a performer. We see him as sort of a modern-day Dean Martin – skillful and smooth as a singer and actor and blessed with a great knack for comedy.

So while Timberlake remains ubiquitous thanks to paparazzi print, broadcast and web-based media, when he tours, you should probably take the opportunity to check him out in person. For example, catch his 20/20 Experience World Tour stop at Nationwide Arena Saturday, Nov. 16.

Tickets are $48/$93/$178. Visit nationwidearena.com.

Indie rockers Manchester Orchestra paint with a post-modern, hi-tech-disguised-as-low-fi palette, but on a canvas of big ol' '70s-style rock – fat riffs, multilayered harmonies and passionate performance.

The Atlanta-based quintet heads a night flush with indie-rock promise – openers include goofy and twisted, but gleeful and catchy New Jersey-based indie-pop duo The Front Bottoms as well as the ambient and jarring Atlanta experimental quintet O'Brother at the Newport Music Hall Sunday, Nov. 17.

Tickets are $16.50. Visit promowestlive.com.

As one of thrash metal's "Big Four," Slayer deservedly owns a place in metal history. But The Beat would add that the quartet's style and content also birthed the extreme metal movement, even further enshrining Tom Araya, Kerry King and mates in heavy metal royalty.

The band soldiers on in the wake of founding member Jeff Hanneman's death of liver failure due to necrotizing fasciitis and cirrhosis earlier this year, causing a Critic Crony fan to opine that "even in death, he goes out sounding metal. That's how metal they are."

Slayer plays Lifestyle Communities Pavilion Sunday, Nov. 17. Gojira and 4Arm open. Tickets are $37.50/$40. Visit promowestlive.com.