l Rome Collects is an exhibition of contemporary Italian art at the American Academy in Rome that investigates art collecting in the city over the past 25 years. Significant works from the collections of various individuals and institutions are on show, and curators Ludovico Pratesi and Shara Wasserman aim to emphasise the context in which the decisions to purchase them were taken, as well as to provide a cross-section of Italian art during the past quarter of a century.

The collectors featured include public galleries such as the Galleria Nazionale dArte Moderna and MACRO; commercial galleries such as the Galleria S.A.L.E.S.; businesses such as the jeweller Bulgari and the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro; and individuals such as Carlo Ambrosetti and Giuseppe Calabresi. The artists whose work is featured range from Mimmo Paladino and Monica Carocci to Domenico Bianchi and Botto & Bruno. Rome Collects runs until 4 Dec, Tues-Sat 16.00-19.00 and by appointment (tel. 065846459).

The American Academy is also sponsoring a concert entitled Luciano Berio: Born in the U.S.A. at the Auditorium-Parco della Musica on 20 Nov. Berio (1925-2003), who was actually born in Oneglia, Liguria, was a hugely influential composer and central member of the avant-garde Darmstadt circle during the 1950s. He went on to teach in the United States, with spells at Harvard University and the Juilliard School in New York; the concert will recall the role American musicians played in Berios musical life. It will include three of his solo Sequenze for piano, viola and voice as well as Circles and two chamber and voice works: O King and Folk Songs. The concert will be conducted by Erasmo Gaudiomonte. For information about tickets tel. 063700323.

American Academy in Rome, Via A. Masina 5, tel. 0658461, www.aarome.org.

l Theres still time to see an exhibition of calligraphic art at the Japanese Cultural Institute. Sho, which is created using a paintbrush known as a fude and Chinese ink called sumi, arrived in Japan more than 1,500 years ago and is based on the Chinese characters known as Kanji. Now practised by two million people, Sho is an art form that is both beautiful and spiritual, and has been described as the expression of the Japanese soul. Calligrafia Giapponese runs until 24 Nov and is open Mon-Fri 9.00-12.30, 14.00-18.30. Wed until 17.30.

The Japanese Cultural Institute is also opening its garden to the public for a limited period. Created in the sen-en (garden with a pond) tradition, it features a waterfall, rocks, a bridge and a stone lantern, as well as the pond, which is connected to the main building by a tsuridono veranda. The garden is open Wed 15.00-17.00 and Fri 10.00-12.00 to 15 people at a time until 26 Nov. Each visit lasts 30 minutes, and booking is essential. Tel. 063224794 or email igc@jfroma.it.

Japanese Cultural Institute, Via A. Gramsci 74, tel. 063224794-54, www.jfroma.it.

l The Accademia Filarmonica Romana will perform a concert to celebrate the 70th birthday of British composer Sir Peter Maxwell Davies on 18 Nov, promoted by the British Council. Maxwell Davies, who lives in the Orkney Islands, has published some 300 works including operas, ballets, symphonies and concertos, and was recently appointed Master of the Queens Music, a post roughly comparable to that of Poet Laureate. He will conduct the concert Omaggio a Maxwell Davies himself at the Teatro Olimpico, and it will include his compositions A Voyage to Fair Isle and Eight Songs for a Mad King. For more information tel. 063265991.

The British Council is also promoting a reading by acclaimed Irish author Colm Tobn from his latest novel The Master on 24 Nov. Based on the life of Henry James, The Master is a subtle portrait of the intensely private American novelist who produced classics such as The Portrait of a Lady and The Wings of the Dove. Tobns book was shortlisted for this years prestigious Booker Prize and the authors visit coincides with the publication of an Italian edition by Fazi. Tobn will read at the Hendrik Andersen Museum, Via P. S. Mancini 20. For more information tel. 0647814206.

British Council, Via delle Quattro Fontane 20, tel. 06478141, www.britishcouncil.it.

l The Austrian Cultural Forum is staging a series of talks about Romantic composer Gustav Mahler (1860-1911), best known for his huge symphonies and his mixture of parody with profound sincerity. Broadcaster Roberta Campanelli and Gastn Fournier-Facio, artistic director at the Accademia Nazionale di S. Cecilia, will discuss, using musical examples, how Mahler elaborated various themes through his compositions. On 17 Nov the subject will be La Guerra LAmore, while on 24 Nov the topic will be La Morte. Both talks will be held at 20.30 at the Austrian Cultural Forum. For information tel. 063608371.

On 19-20 Nov the Forum will host a conference on Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, to whose palatial family home in Vienna Mahler was a frequent visitor. Considered one of the most influential philosophers of the 20th century, Wittgenstein (1889-1951) was concerned with the logic of language, famously stating that If we spoke a different language, we would perceive a somewhat different world. Attending the conference will be linguists, science philosophers and psychoanalysts, who will discuss Wittgensteins thinking with regards to psychology and Freudian psychoanalysis. Lultimo Wittgenstein e il Campo Freudiano takes place 19 Nov 15.00-19.00 and 20 Nov 09.00-13.00. For more information tel. 063608371.

Finally, the Austrian Cultural Forum in collaboration with the Associazione degli Austriaci in Roma will hold its annual pre-Christmas charity bazaar on 27 Nov 10.30-17.00. The fair will feature a wide range of Christmas decorations and Austrian specialities as well as second-hand books and clothes, and takes place in the library.

Austrian Cultural Forum, Viale B. Buozzi 113, tel. 063608371, www.austriacult.roma.it.