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Recommended Chicago-area classical concerts for March 2-8

Pierre-Laurent Aimard: University of Chicago Presents' season-long tribute to Hungarian modernist Gyorgy Ligeti comes to a close with a recital by the formidable French pianist, a longtime Ligeti champion. His program pairs Ligeti's challenging Etudes with Beethoven's towering "Hammerklavier" Sonata. He also will give a lecture-demonstration at 4:30 p.m. Monday. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Logan Center, 915 E. 60th St.; $38, $10 for students; 773-702-2787, http://chicagopresents.uchicago.edu

Chicago Duo Piano Festival Winter Mini-fest: The 30th anniversary season continues with performances, student recitals, master classes and lectures. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston; $10-$30; 800-838-3006, www.musicinst.org

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Chicago Philharmonic: Scott Speck directs a diverse program of works for strings, including Saint-Saens' "Carnival of the Animals" and the Tchaikovsky Serenade. The soloists include Jory Vinikour, harpsichord. 7 p.m. Sunday, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, Northwestern University, 50 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston; $10-$75; www.chicagophilharmonic.org

Chicago Symphony Orchestra: After an 11-year absence from downtown Chicago, Herbert Blomstedt returns to direct Mozart's Symphony No. 39 and Beethoven's Symphony No. 3 ("Eroica"); 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; $36-$250. Leonidas Kavakos is the soloist for Shostakovich's Violin Concerto No. 1, with Emanuel Krivine also leading works by Mussorgsky, Berlioz and Debussy; 8 p.m. Thursday (repeated March 9-11); $30-$218. Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave.; 312-294-3000, www.cso.org

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Early Music Series: Harpsichordist Trevor Stephenson plays music of Bach, Handel and Domenico Scarlatti. 4 p.m. Sunday, Byron Colby Barn, 1561 Jones Point Road, Grayslake; $20; 847-543-1202, http://libertyprairie.org

Elgin Symphony Orchestra: Guest conductor Edwin Outwater leads Shostakovich's rarely heard Symphony No. 12 and Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto, with William Wolfram as soloist. 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way, Elgin; $30 and up, $12 for students; www.elginsymphony.org

Ensemble Dal Niente: The group performs graduate and undergraduate student compositions as part of its residency in the Bienen School of Music. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Ryan Opera Theater, Northwestern University, 70 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston; 847-467-4000, http://concertsatbienen.org

Haymarket Opera Company: For its annual Lenten oratorio, the group under Craig Trompeter performs the earliest-known Passion oratorio, Luigi Rossi's "Oratorio per la Settimana Santa." 5:45 p.m. Thursday, Chicago Temple, 77 W. Washington St.; and 5 p.m. March 10, Church of the Atonement, 5749 N. Kenmore Ave.; $10-$50; 312-898-7446, www.haymarketopera.org

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Hyde Park Youth Symphony: The string orchestra and youth symphony perform works by Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Faure and others. 3 p.m. Saturday, Logan Center for the Arts, University of Chicago, 915 E. 60th St.; free (donations accepted); 312-525-9642, ext. 1.

George Li: The young Chinese pianist, silver medalist in the 2015 International Tchaikovsky Competition, makes his area recital debut. 7:30 p.m. Friday, Galvin Recital Hall, Northwestern University, 70 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston; 847-467-4000, http://concertsatbienen.org

Lyric Opera – "Cosi Fan Tutte": Mozart's romantic comedy returns, with Ana Maria Martinez and Marianne Crebassa as the sisters Fiordiligi and Dorabella, Andrew Stenson and Joshua Hopkins as their sweethearts Ferrando and Guglielmo, Alessandro Corbelli as Don Alfonso and Elena Tsallagova as Despina. James Gaffigan conducts. Through March 16, Lyric Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Drive; $34-$279; 312-827-5600, www.lyricopera.org

Lyric Opera – "Faust": Emmanuel Villaume conducts a new production of the Gounod favorite, directed by Kevin Newbury and designed by John Frame and Victoria Tzykun. French tenor Benjamin Bernheim makes his American debut in the title role, with Ailyn Perez as Marguerite, Edward Parks as Valentin and Christian Van Horn as Mephistopheles. Opens at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and continues through March 21, Lyric Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Drive; $34-$279; 312-827-5600, www.lyricopera.org

Orion Ensemble: Chicago composer Sebastian Huydts' Quintet No. 2 for clarinet, strings and piano receives its world premiere on a program that also holds music of Faure, Bruch and Gideon Klein. 7 p.m. Sunday, First Baptist Church of Geneva-Chapelstreet Church, 2300 South St., Geneva; and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, PianoForte Studios, 1335 S. Michigan Ave. (repeated March 11 in Evanston); $10-$26, 630-628-9591, www.orionensemble.org

Quatuor Ebene: The genre-crossing French string quartet makes its Chicago debut with a program of Haydn, Beethoven and Faure. 7:30 p.m. Friday, Mandel Hall, University of Chicago, 1131 E. 57th St.; $10-$38; 773-702-2787, http://tickets.uchicago.edu

Ravinia BGH Classics: Pianist Michael Lewin makes his Ravinia recital debut. 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Bennett Gordon Hall, Ravinia, Lake Cook and Green Bay roads, Highland Park; $11; 847-266-5100, www.ravinia.org

Spektral Quartet: The group collaborates with avant-garde jazz trumpeter and composer Wadada Leo Smith. 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Constellation, 3111 N. Western Ave.; www.constellation-chicago.com

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John von Rhein is a Tribune critic.

jvonrhein@chicagotribune.com

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Twitter @jvonrhein



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