Most people's familiarity with Tchaikovsky includes The Nutcrackerand maybe extends to Swan Lake; those works alone should tell you that his compositions are interesting, narrative and easily appreciated. Today, those looking to expand their knowledge of the Russian's prolific catalog can see conductor Hans Graf lead the Houston Symphony and pianist Ingrid Fliter through Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony, as well as Chopin's sprightly yet soothing Piano Concerto No. 2. Tchaikovsky wrote the symphony while meditating on the concept of providence; since the work ends with an exuberant march, some critics, and even the composer himself, wondered whether he was thumbing his nose at fate. But audiences have loved the work for more than a century, so clearly the Russian master didn't have too much to worry about. 8 p.m. today and Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. For information, call 713-224-7575 or visit www.houstonsymphony.org. $29 to $116.
Thu., Sept. 17, 8 p.m.; Sat., Sept. 19, 8 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 20, 2:30 p.m., 2009