Of all the events in this weekend’s marathon bash inaugurating the new Symphony Center, Sunday’s three-hour open rehearsal of Monday’s concert by the Civic Orchestra seems the most appropriate: an ensemble of musicians in training for the next century trying out a revamped hall designed for the future–under the guidance of a conductor with definite notions about where serious music ought to be headed. Pierre Boulez, one of the most compelling spokesmen for 20th-century aesthetics, has the clearest and cleanest beat around and an analytical mind that can encompass the most complex musical structure–a good thing when tackling Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra and his third piano concerto. The soloist in the piano concerto is Elena Bashkirova, a Moscow native trained in the Soviet school of keyboard pyrotechnics who later learned finesse and understatement from playing chamber music with her ex-husband, violinist Gidon Kremer. Now married to Daniel Barenboim, she’s in town whenever he is–a boon to local groups. Sunday, 10 AM (open rehearsal); Monday, 8 PM (concert); Symphony Center, 200 S. Michigan; 312-294-3000. TED SHEN

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Elena Bashikirova photo/ uncredited.