There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
It’s hard to believe that nearly 20 years have elapsed since ETHEL first became the weird new classical music ensemble on the block. It was 1998 when violinist Ralph Farris and cellist Dorothy Lawson co-founded a string quartet, named it after someone’s grandma, and started plugging in their instruments. It wasn’t quite Dylan at Newport, but it was close. ETHEL paved the way for many classical music ensembles—Brooklyn Rider, Time for Three, and the Deviant Septet—to defy all sorts of concert hall conventions. The program ETHEL has planned for the Strathmore mansion seems almost quaint compared to some of the group’s other projects, like collaborations with Todd Rundgren and stints as the TED Conference’s house band, but it should also stir listeners’ spirits. The lineup features ETHEL’s arrangement of Ennio Morricone’s Oscar-nominated score for The Mission, as well as songs from Jeff Buckley’s seminal album, Grace. Hallelujah, ETHEL. Keep it coming. ETHEL performs at 7:30 p.m. at the Mansion at Strathmore, 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. $30. (301) 581-5199. strathmore.org.