Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich was a creator of powerful, political symphonies and formidable operas that double as social criticism. Yet among his most affecting works are his visceral string quartets. With commentary by host Stephen Armstrong, the Upton Quartet will perform the composer's third string quartet on Sunday at the George Eastman Museum as part of the "Performance Plus" series. The monthly program combines the work of Eastman School musicians and historical context from the school's Ph.D. candidates in musicology. Like much of Shostakovich's music, String Quartet No. 3 is both cryptic and beautiful, along with the composer's characteristically frenzied rhythms.
The Upton Quartet will perform on Sunday, December 18, at the George Eastman Museum, 900 East Avenue. 3 p.m. Free with museum admission or membership. 271-3361; eastman.org.