Former L.A. Philharmonic music director Esa-Pekka Salonen has been a major impetus behind the orchestra transforming into a dynamic and daring force that champions contemporary and avant-garde music. In recent weeks, the conductor laureate has plunged deeply into the works of Igor Stravinsky, and this weekend he leads L.A. Phil through two of the Russian composer's myth-themed ballets, Orpheus and Perséphone. Orpheus was written for choreographer George Balanchine in 1947 during Stravinsky's extensive sojourn in Los Angeles. The 1933 work Perséphone is revived in an ambitious staging from director Peter Sellars that features tenor Paul Groves, narrator Cécilia Tsan, both the L.A. Master Chorale and the L.A. Children's Chorus, and Cambodian dance troupe Amrita Performing Arts.

Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Fri., April 19, 11 a.m.; Sat., April 20, 8 p.m.; $20-$194. (323) 850-2000,

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