Over the years violinist Pinchas Zukerman has sometimes played as if he were suffering from boredom or malaise, but when his Zukerman Chamber Players appeared at Ravinia in 2004 he seemed reborn, performing with the same passion, intensity, and visible joy as his younger colleagues, including cellist Amanda Forsyth, who has an extraordinarily deep and rich tone. She and Zukerman showed plenty of onstage chemistry, so it wasn’t surprising to learn they’d recently married. But then everyone in the ensemble was extraordinary–in pitch, tone, and blend–and they all displayed exceptional musicality. For this first concert of Northwestern’s chamber festival, which continues in January, Zukerman will be playing with Forsyth and two other members of the group, violist Jethro Marks and violinist Jessica Linnebach. They’ll be joined by pianist Daniel Paul Horn and members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, among them violinists Lei Hou and Blair Milton, assistant principal violist Li-Kuo Chang, and former assistant principal cellist Stephen Balderston. On the program will be Mozart’s String Quintet in D, K. 593, Mendelssohn’s exuberant Octet for Strings, written when he was only 16, and Shostakovich’s Sonata for Cello and Piano, a haunting work that ranges from lyrical in the first movement to deeply anguished in the second to energetic and sarcastic in the fifth. Tue 12/6, 7:30 PM, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, Northwestern University, 50 Arts Circle Dr., Evanston, 847-467-4000, $26-$28, $14 for students.