VIOLIN PYROTECHNICS8 p.m., Robinson Center Music Hall. $17-$52.The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra
returns to its Stella Boyle Smith Masterworks series with selections by Samuel Barber, Niccolo Paganini and Robert Schumann. Barber's “Second Essay” opens the performance. Composed during WWII, the Neo-Romantic piece opens with a quiet passage featuring solo and wind instruments, before building to a climax featuring the full orchestra. Italian violinist Franco Mezzena was originally scheduled to accompany the orchestra in Paganini's “Violin Concerto No. 1,” but he's had to cancel due to illness. Now, prodigy Shannon Lee steps in to perform Paganini's showcase for the violin. The final piece, Schumann's “Symphony No. 2,” follows a dramatic, emotional path from conflict to victory. The ASO reprises the show on Sunday at 3 p.m.