THURSDAY JANUARY 12
Trimpin, our burg's undisputed elder statesman of sound installations, discusses Archival Investigations, an exhibit devoted to his first five years in Seattle. Back in the 1980s, Trimpin trolled Boeing Surplus and other then-obscure salvage sites for parts, gadgets, and inspiration. Jack Straw Productions, 4261 Roosevelt Way NE, 634-0919, 7 pm, free.
SATURDAY JANUARY 14
Looking and sounding like an overripe violin, no musical instrument is sexier than the viola. Despite using a clef that has bedeviled score readers like me for decades, the viola's mellow, sometimes-morose tone has an ineffable tenderness that the flashier violin cannot touch. This day devoted to the viola features a master class, a concert, all-star violists (including Susan Gulkis Assadi from the Seattle Symphony), and the usual viola geekiness. Brechemin Auditorium in the Music Building, UW campus, 685-8384, 2:30 pm, free.
What do you do after writing a string of hits that included "The Blue Danube" and "Tales from the Vienna Woods"? Write operas and make more money. Johann Strauss Jr.'s Die Fledermaus bubbles up the usual comic froth of mistaken identities and other comedic confusion. Runs through Saturday, January 28. Students can snag tickets to the Sunday, January 22 matinee for $15; see www.seattleopera.org for details. McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St, 389-7676, 7:30 pm, $43–$134.
Ivan Moody conducts this very fine Portland-based vocal ensemble in choral works from Serbia and Bulgaria. Moody, an expert in Orthodox Church music, is also a composer; Cappella Romana premieres his Canon of Theophany. Holy Rosary Church, 4139 42nd Ave SW, 632-8499, 8 pm, $12–$25.
SUNDAY JANUARY 15
3 LEG TORSO
I wish some Ph.D. candidate would devote a dissertation to the abundance of smart accordion-driven groups that cropped up in the last decade. This Portland-based quintet leaven klezmer, cabaret tunes, and tango with touches of the avant: unusual percussion instruments (bongo, dumbek, xylophone, guiro), brainy arrangements, and spare, almost minimal, textures. The Triple Door, 216 Union St, 838-4333, 7 pm, $12.
Early Music Guild honcho Denhard gives a recital of 16th and 17th century English lute music written by John Johnson, Richard Allyson, and John Dowland. Wedgwood Presbyterian Church, 8008 35th Ave NE, 527-0522, 7:30 pm, $10.
JIM CUTLER JAZZ ORCHESTRA
This big band plays old chestnuts, new charts, and an experimental number or two. Sit close and peer into the overlooked world of an orchestra: trumpeters in back whispering, inscrutable hand signals from the leader, and the appreciative looks from fellow musicians when someone unfurls a smokin' solo. Tula's, 2214 Second Ave, 443-4221, 8 pm, $5.
TUESDAY JANUARY 17
EMERSON STRING QUARTET
This rightfully acclaimed quartet serves up an all-Scandinavian program, performing Nielsen's "At the Bier of a Young Artist," the Quartet in D minor (subtitled "Intimate Voices") by Jean Sibelius, and Grieg's Quartet in G minor, op. 27. Pre-concert lecture starts at 7:15 p.m. Meany Theater, UW campus, 543-4880, 8 pm, $34.