One of the best things about watching an orchestra is seeing a hidden star emerge, as oboist Ben Hausmann has this season. Hausmann, who stepped up...

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One of the best things about watching an orchestra is seeing a hidden star emerge, as oboist Ben Hausmann has this season. Hausmann, who stepped up to the Seattle Symphony’s acting principal spot from the second-oboe chair, played a short solo of arresting beauty in last week’s Beethoven’s Fifth. This weekend he steps forward to play the Alessandro Marcello Oboe Concerto tonight and Saturday.

He joins guest conductor Gary Thor Wedow (replacing Bernard Labadie) in a program also offering works by Handel, J.C. Bach and Rameau. Wedow has conducted the Seattle Symphony in two well-received Seattle Opera productions: Handel’s “Julius Caesar” last season, and this season’s “Iphigenia in Tauris.”

Before coming to Seattle, Hausmann (who also is principal oboe of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra) held the principal spot with L’Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, the Florida Philharmonic and the Savannah Symphony. He’s also a pianist, composer and poet.

Concert details: 8 p.m. today and Saturday at Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle; $17-$66 (206-215-4747, toll-free at 866-833-4747, or

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Violins and Mozart

More orchestral talent will be on display Thursday and Jan. 19, when the Seattle Symphony’s principal second violinist, Elisa Barston, performs with conductor/violinist Jaime Laredo in a pair of Mainly Mozart concerts.

Barston, whose leadership has substantially strengthened the second violins, will be heard with Laredo in Mozart’s “Concertone for Two Violins and Orchestra”; the program includes Mozart’s Symphony No. 1 (composed at the age of 8) and his Violin Concerto No. 3.

Concert details: 7:30 p.m. Thursday and 8 p.m. Jan. 19 at Benaroya; $17-$66 (details as above).

More violins, more Mozart

Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3 is also the work of choice for violinist Quinton Morris, who solos with the Seattle Symphony in four free community concerts in Seattle: 8 p.m. today, West Seattle High School, 3000 California Ave. S.W.; 7 p.m. Thursday, South Park Community Center, 8319 Eighth Ave. S.; 7:30 p.m. Jan. 23, Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center, 104 17th Ave. S.; and at noon Jan. 25, City Hall, 600 Fourth Ave. All these concerts, conducted by Carolyn Kuan, are free to the public with no tickets required.

Even more Mozart

In this month of Mozart’s birth (he was born Jan. 27, 1756), the Duo Amadeus presents concerts Saturday and Sunday, when you can hear works of Mozart, plus Bach and Beethoven, performed on historic period instruments. Artists include violinist Elizabeth Blumenstock (who plays a 1660 Andrea Guarneri), the concertmaster of the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra of San Francisco; and Seattle fortepianist Tamara Friedman (on a replica of a 1795 Anton Walter fortepiano).

Concert details: 8 p.m. Saturday, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church Chapel, 4805 N.E. 45th St., and 3 p.m. Sunday, Queen Anne Christian Church, 1316 Third Ave W.; $10-$25, with kids 14 and younger attending free on a one-to-one basis with each paying adult (206-726-6088 or

Ready for “Hansel and Gretel”?

Lyric Opera Northwest presents a traditional staging of the Humperdinck classic in English (with orchestra, sets and costumes), playing Thursday-Jan. 19 in Bellevue’s 410-seat Meydenbauer Center Theatre. The producer/directors are baritone Craig Nim and soprano Pamela Casella, both well known to Northwest audiences.

The role of Hansel will be sung by Robin Johnson and Sibyl Adams; Gretel by Cherie Hughes and Kari Ragan Hoffman; the Witch by Carla Hilderbrand and Nicolause Malat; the Mother by Karen Early Evans, Lisa Marie Bleile and Boyoon Choi; the Father by Danny Oakden and Ryan Francis; the Sandman by Eden Nordby; and the Dew Fairy by Veronica Nim. R. Joseph Scott conducts the orchestra. (Next up for this company is “The Ballad of Baby Doe” this fall.)

Performance details: 7:30 p.m. Thursday and next Friday and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Jan. 19, Meydenbauer Center Theatre, 11100 N.E. Sixth St., Bellevue; $12-$40, $35 for seniors/students, and $12 for 12 and younger (206-325-6500 or

Melinda Bargreen:

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