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Lilya Zilberstein joins the Columbus Symphony Orchestra for concerts May 2-4 in the Southern Theatre.

While the development of the concerto as an element of orchestral music initially took on a variety of forms, it is the concerto as an avenue to feature a solo performer accompanied by orchestra that has had the most-lasting impact.

The Columbus Symphony Orchestra's Concerto Festival -- Friday through Sunday, May 2-4, at the Southern Theatre -- examines the breadth of the form, and this year focuses on the piano, courtesy of works by Bach and Sho-stakovich and guest soloist Lilya Zilberstein.

The Bach piece is a triumph of Baroque form, while it is the 20th-century Russian composer's evident whimsy that makes his work memorable.

Additionally, the program includes Stravinsky's Dumbarton Oaks, which is inspired by Bach's Brandenberg concertos. Beethoven's Leonore Overture No. 3 opens the evenings. Gregory Vajda guest conducts.

Tickets start at $25. Visit


There is no surer thing in contemporary Christian music than a hit song from Casting Crowns.

Frontman Mark Hall has a gift for spinning a spiritual theme into a well-crafted modern adult pop song, and the list of songs as evidence is lengthy -- since emerging from a church in Daytona Beach, Fla., in 2003, the band (some members of which continue to serve in youth ministry at their now-home church in Georgia) has sold more than 8 million albums, including a healthy number of its latest, Thrive.

The band is on tour with Laura Story (Mighty to Save, Blessings) and For King & Country (The Proof of Your Love), and plays the Schottenstein Center Friday, May 2.

Tickets start at $20. Visit


We confess that The Beat has been given, on occasion, to a bit of gushing and fawning, but to refer to country music icon Merle Haggard as a legend (or an icon -- see what we did there) is neither of those things.

He's inspired at least two generations of young Nashville talent, but the sanitized honky-tonk never quite matched up to the original, which was informed by Haggard's own life story that began in 1937 in a converted boxcar, the son of parents who fled the Oklahoma Dust Bowl.

A troubled adolescence and three-year prison stint followed before Haggard learned how to find release in writing songs.

Haggard will be in concert Sunday, May 4, in the Midland Theatre. Tickets start at $36. Visit


Manchester, England, quartet The 1975 serves up sweet, sugary confections of arty, electro-pop love songs. (Well, many are about love, if they aren't specifically odes, per se.)

Why don't we just point out that two of their buzziest tracks are titled Sex and Chocolate, and leave it at that, hmm?

The band followed those songs with its debut full-length, a self-titled effort that has the band on the road. A stop is planned at Lifestyle Communities Pavilion (outdoors) Monday, May 5. Tickets are $20/$22. Visit


Our final entry for the week is a public-service announcement for parents of younger children: Neither Gurf Morlix (Saturday, May 3, at Natalie's Coal-Fired Pizza) nor Peelander-Z (Tuesday, May 6, at the Rumba cafe) is a children's show.

Despite his potentially children's-show-host name, Morlix is actually a crackerjack Austin, Texas-based singer-songwriter who has played with and/or written songs with pretty much everyone in roots music. Tickets to his show are $15. Visit

Despite their children's-show-host costumes, Peelander-Z is actually a silly, demented punk band from Japan by way of Brooklyn. Tickets are $10. Visit