Israel Festival Juilliard String Quartet Jerusalem Theater June 10 It takes an American ensemble to get a work by Elliot Carter performed here - an American 20th century composer not very well-known on our shores. Carter's String Quartet No. 2 was the center of interest in the Juilliard String Quartet's program at the Israel Festival. It was also where the Juilliards seemed to feel most at home. The work abounds in original musical ideas, pulling in many different, often conflicting directions. It highlights the contrasts of bowed and pizzicato strings and presents highly individualist-sounding instruments, despite the perfect coordination of the players. This concentration-demanding work, with its players' intense involvement, was the program's apex. Verdi's String Quartet served as a warm-up piece, which was less than it deserved. Verdian aria-like songfulness and operatic drama were missing, making the rendition sound indifferent. Beethoven's temperament and emotional excitement were realized impressively toward the end of the Rasumovsky String Quartet No. 3, after a beginning that displayed noticeable noble restraint.