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Boston-area to do list

Roger Mastroianni


From Russia with love

Twenty-one-year-old Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov makes his debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra playing Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1, which made its debut in Boston in 1875. Giancarlo Guerrero conducts the concert, which also features Prokofiev's Fifth Symphony and Roberto Sierra's Fandangos. Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. (through Nov. 10). $30-$124. Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. 617-266-1200. www.bso.org


Volts on the farm

The 38-foot kinetic Electrum lightning sculpture lives on a farm in New Zealand. Eric Orr's piece houses the largest Tesla coil and is the subject of Alberta Chu's documentary "Lightning Dreams: The Electrum at Gibbs Farm." The screening, part of the Museum of Science "Lightning Strikes" program, will be followed by a discussion with the filmmaker, engineer Greg Leyh, and physicist Daniel Davis. 6:45 p.m. $15 (limited seating; adults only). Museum of Science, 1 Science Park, Boston. 617-723-2500. www.mos.org


Pillar talk For “The Pillars,” photographer Thaddeus Miles focuses his camera and exploration on four areas: People & Community, Family & Ancestry, Faith & Spirit, and Nature & Landscape. Mon-Fri from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. through Nov. 21. Free. The Harriet Tubman Gallery, 566 Columbus Ave., Boston. 617-536-8610. www.uses.org

Hundred years war

Associates of the Boston Public Library present the Hundred-Year Retroactive Book Award Competition, where bestsellers from 1912 will be defended for an audience vote. Edgar Rice Burroughs's "Tarzan of the Apes" will be pitched by Newbery Medal winner Jack Gantos; Globe film critic Ty Burr will advocate for Zane Grey's "Riders of the Purple Sage," and Gregory Maguire will push Thomas Mann's "Death in Venice." 6-8 p.m. Free (reservations required at www.bookaward.eventbrite.com). Boston Public Library Abbey Room, 700 Boylston St., Boston. 617-536-5400. www.bpl.org


Parenting skills

Put down the Harvard catalog and focus on something else with Dr. Richard Weissbourd, who will talk about "Raising Moral and Happy Children." The child and family psychologist (and father of three) is the author of "The Parents We Mean To Be: How Well-Intentioned Adults Undermine Children's Moral and Emotional Development." Nov. 8, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. $25 (includes lunch), $40 (lunch plus copy of book). Boston Children's Museum, 308 Congress St., Boston. 617-426-6500. www.tinyurl.com/8c25dfu


No complaints from this Portnoy

Eric Clapton has described Jerry Portnoy as "one of the most stimulating musicians I have ever played with..." The blues harp player has performed with the Eric Clapton Band and Muddy Waters Blues Band and brings his Jerry Portnoy Trio to Smoken' Joe's. Nov. 8 and 15 at 8:30 p.m. No cover (reservations recommended). Smoken' Joe's BBQ and Blues, 351 Washington St., Brighton. 617-254-5227. www.smokenjoesbbq.com

New music, young composers

The fuss is all about composers under 40 at the Boston Conservatory Music Division's New Music Festival. Five concerts of contemporary chamber music will be delivered by faculty, students, guests artists, and ensembles-in-residence. Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. (through Nov. 16). Free. The Boston Conservatory, Studio 401, 31 Hemenway St., Boston. 617-912-9240. www.boston