William Grant Still was not only a part of the Harlem Renaissance scene and one of the first African-American composers to have his work taken seriously by classical-music audiences, he was also one of the first composers to develop distinctively American forms of symphonic music, opera and ballet. Saturday night, Thomas Wilkins conducts Still's influential First Symphony, a majestic work infused with strains of blues and jazz, alongside selections by Duke Ellington and George Gershwin. On Sunday afternoon, Wilkins leads a different program centered on Still's Second Symphony.
Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown L.A.; Sat., Feb. 16, 8 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 17, 2 p.m.; $20-$194. (323) 850-2000, laphil.com.