May 23: Inner Space - Outer Space at the Wells Fargo Center

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The big question facing all classical-music organizations these days is how to convert new fans to attend performances. The Cotati-based American Philharmonic orchestra has hit upon the most effective, if obvious, answer: make concerts free. Self-described as “the people’s orchestra,” there’s nothing stuffy about the AP’s performances, and they’re usually peppered with uncommon pieces from the repertoire. This weekend’s program, titled Inner Space – Outer Space, features Holst’s The Planets, a common piece if ever there was one. But representing the “inner” portion of the program is Copland’s poignant Quiet City, originally written for an obscure Irwin Shaw play of the same name that closed after two shows. Debussy’s Nocturnes rounds out the egalitarian experience on Saturday, May 22 at 8pm and Sunday, May 23 at 3pm, at the Wells Fargo Center. 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. Free; donations accepted. 707.542.8234.Gabe Meline

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