The exceptional Japanese maestro Tadaaki Otaka brings the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra to the Barbican tonight, concluding an extensive European tour. The well-loved conductor laureate, who revitalised the BBC Welsh Orchestra, continues to promote the work of new composers with a programme that features Takemitsu's Twill by Twilight alongside Beethoven's Piano Concerto No 3 and Strauss's Ein Heldenleben. The Barbican Centre, London EC2, 7.30pm,

pounds 7-pounds 25 (0171-638 8891)

Meanwhile, Chuck D, militant political activist and front man of Public Enemy, will lecture on "rap, race and reality" for the launch of his eloquent and fiery book, Fight the Power. A spoken-word performance will be followed by open discussion and book signing at the Jazz Cafe, London NW1, 7pm, pounds 10 (pounds 8 adv) (0171-344 0044)

Noel Harrison wrote and stars in Adieu, Jacques ... The award-winning one-man musical tells the story of the life and music of Belgian singer/ song writer and cult figure Jacques Brel with zest and affection. Jermyn Street Theatre, London SW1, Mon-Sat 8pm, pounds 15 (pounds 12 concs). Box office: 0171-987 2875

And opening tonight is a revised production of Shining Souls, Chris Hannan's blackly comic adventure, first recognised at the 1996 Edinburgh Festival and now playing as part of the Old Vic's season of new plays. Set in a Glasgow housing estate, it follows the fate of two quirky individuals. Starring Tom Mannion. To 1 Dec at the Old Vic, London SE1, pounds 10-pounds 24, Mon 7.30pm Sun 8pm (0171-928 7616)

If you missed it the first time around, here's your last chance to see Riverdance, whose sell-out UK tour earlier this year wowed audiences all over the country. The ever-popular spectacular of Irish dance, now back for a Christmas season, is guaranteed to lift your spirits. To 10 Jan at Labatt's Apollo, London W6 9QH, 8pm, pounds 15-pounds 28, Box Office: 0171-416 6002

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