“The Artemis Quartett’s technique is on par with the most virtuoso competitors—and their musicality surpasses that of all other ensembles!”
Joachim Kaiser, “Süddeutsche Zeitung”
The Berlin-based Artemis Quartett was founded in 1989 at the Musikhochschule Lübeck, and is recognized today as one of the foremost quartets in the world. Their mentors include Walter Levin, Alfred Brendel, the Alban Berg Quartett, the Juilliard Quartet and the Emerson Quartet.
The ensemble had its international breakthrough with first prizes at the ARD Wettbewerb in 1996 and at Premio Borciani half a year later. Subsequently, the musicians received an invitation to the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, where they were able to expand their musical studies and enjoy interdisciplinary exchange with renowned scholars. Since its successful debut at the Berlin Philharmonie in 1999, the quartet has performed in all the great music centres and at international festivals in Europe, the USA, Japan, South America and Australia.
In 2003, the Beethoven-Haus Society awarded the Artemis Quartett an honorary membership in recognition of its interpretations of Beethoven’s works. Film director Bruno Monsaingeon created an impressive portrait of the musicians and their performance of Beethoven's “Grosse Fuge” op. 133 in his 2001 film “Strings Attached”.
As a celebration of its special affinity for Beethoven’s music, as well as its 20th anniversary as an ensemble, the quartet embarked on a Beethoven cycle in 2009, which was performed over two seasons in Berlin, Vienna, Brussels, Florence, Cologne, Frankfurt, London, Paris and Rome. The project culminated in a recording of the complete quartets with Warner. The Beethoven Complete-project was awarded the prestigious French Grand Prix de l’Académie Charles Cros.
Since 2004, the Artemis Quartett has been programming its own critically renowned series in the Berlin Philharmonie and, in addition, was named Quartet in Residence at the Vienna Konzerthaus in 2011.
Collaborations with other musicians have always been an important source of inspiration for the ensemble. The quartet has toured with such personalities as Sabine Meyer, Elisabeth Leonskaya, Juliane Banse and Jörg Widmann. Some collaborations have also been documented on CDs, such as the Brahms and Schubert piano quintets with Leif Ove Andsnes, the Schubert quintet with Truls Mørk or Schoenberg’s “Verklärte Nacht” with Thomas Kakuska and Valentin Erben of the Alban Berg Quartett.
The Artemis Quartett has had an exclusive recording contract with Warner since 2005 and can boast of an extensive discography. Their recordings have been recognized with the prestigious Gramophone Award as well as the Diapason d’Or and several ECHO Klassik prizes. Their recording of Mendelssohn-Bartody’s works was released in the spring of 2014. In autumn 2015, their disk with a recording of Brahms’ two quartets op. 51/1 and op. 67 was released.
A focus on contemporary music is an important part of the ensemble’s work, in part because they wish to keep developing an eye for new elements in already well-established music. Composers such as Mauricio Sotelo (2004), Jörg Widmann (2006) and Thomas Larcher (2008) have written pieces for the Artemis Quartett. They premiered a concerto for quartet and orchestra by Daniel Schnyder in Frankfurt in 2014.
In addition to their concert careers, the four musicians are professors at the Universität der Künste in Berlin and at the Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth in Brussels.
As of June 2016