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Stringy competition 

The N.C. Symphony continues its "Postcards" series of new works by N.C. composers with the premiere of the late Roger Hannay's "Triangle Transit." Hannay's music has not been played by our state orchestra for a quarter of a century, so the concerts in UNC's Memorial Hall on Thursday and in Raleigh's Meymandi Concert Hall on Friday and Saturday are worthwhile for the premiere alone. The rest of the program, led by Grant Llewellyn, is attractive, too. The lineup includes Ravel's "Valses nobles et sentimentales" and the Piano Concerto for the Left Hand and Scriabin's "Poem of Ecstacy." Guest soloist Louis Lortie will also perform three Rachmaninov preludes along the way. Tickets are $22-$28 at UNC and $28-$49 in the capital city.

Competition for audiences is fierce on Friday night. Duke Performances presents a program of Persian and Turkish improvisations by Kayhan Kalhor playing kamencheh (spike fiddle) and Erdal Erzincan playing baglama (a lute sometimes known as the saz). The venue is Goodson Chapel in the Westbrook Building on Duke's West Campus. Tickets are $15. But organ enthusiasts won't want to miss the dedicatory recital of the Chapel of the Cross' new Dobson organ; Wylie S. Quinn plays music by Bach, Johann Gottfried Walther, William Boyce, François Couperin, Mendelssohn and Franck on Friday evening. Donations are requested.

There's competition for the Symphony on Saturday, too, as Duke Performances offers a recital by Dawn Upshaw, one of the great (and most distinctive) vocalists of our time, accompanied by the comparably distinguished pianist Gilbert Kalish in Page Auditorium on Duke's West Campus. Tickets are $22-$36.

The N.C. Master Chorale sings a program of music by Cecil Effinger, John Tavener and Libby Larsen and makes a statement at the same time by venturing to perform one concert of the pair in Durham, home of several other outstanding choirs. Alfred E. Sturgis directs the ensemble in Peace College's Kenan Recital Hall in Raleigh on Saturday evening and in Durham's First Presbyterian Church on Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. Tickets are $5-$16.

And, last but hardly least, if you like your symphonic bands smaller than the Symphony, the top-flight Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle is just the ticket. Lorenzo Muti leads the group in music by Mozart (the Idomeneo Overture and the "Prague" Symphony) and Beethoven (the Second Symphony) in the Carolina Theatre on Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. Tickets are $20, but students get in for free.

Unless otherwise specified, events begin at 8 p.m. For more information about these and other fine concerts, see Classical Voice of North Carolina's Triangle events Web site.

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