Founded by first violinist Eric Lewis in 1968, the Manhattan String Quartet is best known for its affinity for the music of Shostakovich, which can be traced back to the quartet's pioneering mid-80s tour of the Soviet Union. Here they'll perform his Twelfth Quartet, a work less tinged with the anguish and despair characteristic of the composer's other late quartets and a good match for the Manhattan's lean, propulsive approach. The concert opens with Charles Ives's First String Quartet, a precocious student work that demonstrates the composer's ability to integrate American sounds--in this case, Protestant hymns--with European influences. Over the past year the MSQ has been focusing on the works of Beethoven, and this program will end with String Quartet opus 59, no. 1, in F Major, the first of the composer's middle quartets, where he left behind the restraints of Haydn and Mozart to expand his rhythmic texture, thematic development, and range of expression. Musicologist Stephanie Ettelson will give a preconcert lecture at 2 PM. a 3 PM, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, Northwestern University, 50 Arts Circle Dr., Evanston, 847-482-1714, $30, $20 for ages 40 and under, $12 for students.