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In the classical world, chamber music is not the preferred career path for violists seeking the lavish, debauched lifestyle of baroque stardom: a steady job and not having to teach private lessons to talentless brats. Full orchestras are what pack the concert halls, and the biggest stars go solo. Smaller ensembles, on the other hand, get hired for art gallery openings and debutante balls—if they’re lucky. You’d be hard-pressed to find a string quartet that qualifies as a household name, which is what makes the Emerson String Quartet such a notable exception. Formed at the Juilliard School, the New York-based ensemble has released more than 20 albums, won eight Grammys, and is considered by many to be the best quartet in the country. Violinists Eugene Drucker and Philip Setzer and violist Lawrence Dutton will perform Haydn, DvoÅák and Ravel standing up, as per their style. (Cellist David Finckel gets to sit.)

EMERSON STRING QUARTET PERFORMS AT 6 P.M. AT THE NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM’S BAIRD AUDITORIUM, 10TH ST. AND CONSTITUTION AVE. NW. $63. (202) 633-3030.