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When he was a boy, Elliott Carter’s parents bought insurance from maverick American composer Charles Ives—until they found he was encouraging their son’s musical interests. Much later, after studying literature and math in college, Carter authored his own distinctly American, difficult, and ultimately revered compositions, including a foursome of string quartets. Pianist Ursula Oppens, known as St. Ursula to the composers she champions, was encouraged by her European-born parents to pursue her musical interests, but also came late to embracing them as a career. Since then she’s worked closely with her favorite composers in the commissioning of new works, including Carter’s Piano Quintet, which she’ll premiere tonight with the Arditti String Quartet, on an all-Carter program in celebration of the composer’s 90th birthday. At 8 p.m. at the Library of Congress in the Jefferson Building’s Coolidge Auditorium, 101 1st St. SE. Free. (202) 707-5502. (DS)