Russian Masterpieces and Modern Classics (CPs Sun. 11/3/13)

1) Join the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra for an afternoon celebrating the Russian Masterpieces at Heinz Hall. Guest Conductor Yan Pascal Tortelier takes us on a musical journey to early 20th century Russia with the help of pianist Daniil Trifonov and the PSO. The afternoon program includes Prokofiev‘s raw and moving Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Minor for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 16, and Rachmaninoff‘s hauntingly emotional Symphony No. 2 in E Minor, Op. 27. Get there early to Explore and Engage in the lobby for a deeper understanding of the music you’ll hear. 2:30 p.m. 600 Penn Ave., Cultural District.

2) If classical music isn’t your cup of tea, try the punk sounds of Tonight Alive at the Altar Bar. After enjoying big-ticket shows like Bamboozle and The Warped Tour as support acts, the Aussies headline this performance. Lead vocalist Jenna McDougall tantalizes her audience with her impressive vocal range and passionate lyrics, as demonstrated in songs like “Lonely Girl.” With quick beats and original riffs, Jenna and the rest of the band go all in to make their audiences feel the music, rather than simply hear it. Tonight’s performance also features The Downtown Fiction and For the Foxes. 7 p.m. 1620 Penn Ave., Strip District.

3) As part of the Carnegie International, make a point of visiting the newly re-installed Scaife Galleries at the Carnegie Museum of Art. Today is the last day to see Stan Brakhage’s 1963 Mothlight on exhibit. The visionary filmmaker/artist used packing tape to collect moth wings, flower petals, leaves, dust, and other materials for this piece, leaving viewers to ponder the meaning of life (and death) of all living creatures. Noon 5 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland.

4) Today is also your last day to get some insight on ancient Arabic culture with Roads of Arabia at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. This traveling exhibition—for which Pittsburgh has been one of only five stops in North America—presents the history  of the Arabian Peninsula through recent and rarely seen archaeological finds. The exhibit highlights major eras in the Peninsula’s culture with artifacts found along the pre-Islam trade routes, and along the pilgrimage trails after Islam was introduced to the area. With over 200 excavated objects on display, including jewelry, coins, tombstones, and textiles, the exhibit offers an experience to help us see with fresh eyes a culture we may not fully understand. 12 – 5 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland.

5) Nestled in Point State Park, history lives at the Fort Pitt Blockhouse. The only remaining piece of Fort Pitt, the 1764 building later served as a home for many different families until 1894, when the Daughters of the American Revolution began to restore it. Inside, visitors can explore different artifacts (these change due to weather conditions) and view slideshows about an important part of American history that exists right in our back yard. Visitors can also step onto the firing steps and peer through the same gun loopholes that soldiers used long ago. 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Point State Park, Downtown.