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A recent New Yorker cartoon showed a trio of surgeons gleefully informing their patient they would perform his operation on vintage instruments. The recent vogue for such tools represents—as does the classical repertoire, of course—the sentiment that “they just don’t make ’em like they used to.” Renowned Dutch cellist Anner Bylsma will perform the works of Boccherini, Bach, Piatti, Dotzauer, and Brahms on a Stradivarius. A pre-concert lecture by the Smithsonian’s Kenneth Slowik will cover the history of the cello, with particular emphasis on Bylsma’s ax of choice. At 7:30 p.m. tonight and at 8 p.m. tomorrow at the Renwick Gallery’s Grand Salon, 17th & Pennsylvania Ave. NW. $19. (202) 357-3030.