NC Symphony

When: Oct. 19-20, 8 p.m. 2012

If you've ever wondered just what a conductor does, the North Carolina Symphony's Friday and Saturday performances of Brahms' second symphony offer a chance to see how the person wielding the baton shapes the music you hear. Mexican conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto brings a reputation for energy and subtlety to the podium, and the pastoral surges of the Brahms must have Prieto licking his chops. Brian Reagin takes the feature role in Dimitri Kabalevsky's Violin Concerto; the symphony will perform Samuel Barber's first symphony, too. Come early on Friday as WUNC's Catherine Brand hosts an opportunity to meet the artists at 6:30 p.m., and bring your questions to the lobby at intermissions for the symphony's "Ask a Musician" program. Tickets are $18–$64 for the 8 p.m. performances. —Chris Vitiello

Price: $18-64

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