The New York Times raved that the Artemis, “plays with refined vitality and a sound that has the lithe glow of a copper wire.” Returning for the third time, this Berlin-based quartet is renowned the world over for its exhilarating performances.
Mozart: Quartet in G Major, K. 387
Shostakovich: Quartet No. 5 in B-flat Major, Op. 92
Beethoven: Quartet in F Major, Op. 59, No. 1 Razumovsky
The Artemis Quartet gives concerts at all the great musical centers and international festivals in the United States, Europe, Asia, South America and Australia. Since 2004 the ensemble has created its own cycles at the chamber music hall of Berlin Philharmonie; since 2011 at Wiener Konzerthaus (together with Belcea Quartet); and beginning with the 2016/2017 season, at Prince Regent Theatre Munich.
The Berlin-based Artemis Quartet was founded in 1989 at the University of Music Lübeck and is counted among the foremost quartets today worldwide. Important mentors have been Walter Levin, Alfred Brendel, the Alban Berg Quartet, the Juilliard Quartet and the Emerson Quartet.
Being awarded first place in the ARD competition in 1996 and again six months later at “Premio Borciani”, made the quartet internationally successful. Yet the four decided to follow an invitation of the Institute for Advanced Study Berlin to enhance their studies as an ensemble and to immerse them in an interdisciplinary exchange with renowned academics. The quartet’s “comeback” came about with its Berlin debut. In 2013, the Beethovenhaus Bonn decorated the quartet as an honorary member for merits of its interpretation of Beethoven’s work.
From the beginning, the collaboration with musical colleagues has been a major inspiration for the ensemble. Thus, the Artemis Quartet has toured with notable musicians such as Sabine Meyer, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Juliane Banse and Jörg Widmann. Various recordings document the artistic cooperation with several partners; for example the piano quintets by Schumann and Brahms with Leif Ove Andsnes, the Schubert quintet with Truls Mørk or Arnold Schönberg’s ’Verklärte Nacht’ with Thomas Kakuska and Valentin Erben from the Alban Berg Quartet.
Since 2005 the Artemis Quartet exclusively records for Virgin, today Erato, and can now look back on a large discography. Their recordings have been repeatedly awarded the ’The German Record Critic’s Award’, the ’Gramophone Award’ as well as the ’Diapason d’Or’. The entire recording of Beethoven’s string quartets was honored with the important French ’Grand Prix de l'Académie Charles Cros’ in 2011. The quartet has received an ’ECHO Klassik’ on four occasions, the latest in 2015 for the recording of compositions by Mendelssohn-Bartholdy as well as in 2016 for the recording of Brahms’ Quartets op. 51/1 and op. 67, dedicated to the quartet’s former violist Friedemann Weigle, who tragically passed away in July 2015. Their next recording with works of Shostakovich will be released in 2018, including the piano quintet with Elisabeth Leonskaja.
In their effort to increase the awareness of new music, the examination of contemporary music is always a significant part of the artistic work of the ensemble. Composers such as Mauricio Sotelo (2004), Jörg Widmann (2006), and Thomas Larcher (2008) wrote creations for the Artemis Quartet. In 2014 a concert for strings and orchestra by Daniel Schnyder premiered in Frankfurt. The musicians launched their own contest for musical composition in 2015. Eduard Demetz was the first winner in November 2015 and his String Quartet No. 2 was given a very well-received premiere in Berlin in May 2016.
In addition to concertizing, the four musicians teach as professors at the University of the Arts Berlin and Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth in Brussels.