The celebrated Cassatt String Quartet will present an engaging and passionate program featuring Beethoven’s “Harp” Quartet Op. 74; and a preview performance of Vineet Shende’s String Quartet No. 2 in Raag Ahir-Bhairav Thursday, April 5, at 7 p.m. at Waterfall Arts, 256 High St.

Admission is $10. For more information, call 338-2222.

Shende is an Associate Professor of Music at Bowdoin College, where he oversees the composition program and teaches courses in composition, electronic music, orchestration, music theory, music history and Asian music. His String Quartet No. 2 in Raag Ahir-Bhairav employs melodic and formal ideas found in North Indian raag, rhythmic ideas found in South Indian taal, and polyphony and modulation found in Western concert music.

Shende said he has often been dissatisfied, if not outright annoyed, by concert music pieces characterized as “East-meets-West” because the “East” of such pieces is often fairly superficial — usually sections with “exotic” scales supported by drones.

“I thought this piece would be an opportunity to write something where the aesthetics of Indian classical music were not just an added flavor but instead existed on a primary structural level,” he said.

The Cassatt String Quartet, which has performed at Waterfall Arts in recent summers as part of the Seal Bay Festival of American Chamber Music, was the first quartet chosen for Juilliard’s Young Artists Quartet Program. In the years since, Cassatt has performed at New York’s Alice Tully Hall and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Tanglewood Music Theater, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Theatre des Champs-Élysées in Paris and the Beijing Central Conservatory in China. At the Library of Congress, the Cassatt’s musicians performed on the library’s matched quartet of Stradivarius instruments.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or