Artemis Quartet

String Quartet

Vineta Sareika, Suyoen Kim
Alternating violins
Gregor Sigl
Viola
Harriet Krijgh
Cello
Go to Biography
Contacts

Biography

An anniversary and a new beginning in one. Far from looking back in satisfaction, the quartet is boldly breaking new ground. Thirty years after it was founded – in 1989, the year when the Berlin Wall came down – a rejuvenated Artemis Quartett welcomes two new members. Over the years the quartet has adjusted to new appointments with ease, and now radical change is on the horizon: from the start of the season 2019/20 violinist Suyoen Kim, born in Münster, Westphalia, and now First Concert Master of the Konzerthaus Orchester Berlin, will alternate first and second violin with Vineta Sareika, following the departure of Anthea Kreston. Meanwhile Dutch cellist Harriet Krijgh, already a high-profile soloist, is taking over from founding member Eckart Runge.
This is a changeover that is happening both at high speed and in the full beam of public expectation. In September 2019 the quartet’s touring schedule already includes two dates in Amsterdam at the Concertgebouw. In the upcoming season, 2019/20, the re-formed quartet will continue its celebrated cycles with three programmes each in the Kammermusiksaal of the Berlin Philharmonie and in the Mozartsaal at the Konzerthaus in Vienna. It will also continue to perform in leading concert series in Europe, North America and Asia. In so doing the quartet is taking on a huge challenge. At the same time as forming anew the ensemble has to retain both its character and its identity. The quartet’s farewell to Eckart Runge also marks the departure of the last founding member of the ensemble, whose four original players came together as students at the Musikhochschule Lübeck. But the continuity of the quartet’s generations is assured: violist Gregor Sigl joined in 2007 and Vineta Sareika was appointed as leader in 2012.

The traditional notion of a string quartet’s style being defined and embodied by one dominant personality – generally the leader – does not apply in the case of the Artemis Quartett. Indeed, the outstanding quality of this formation, which was soon winning major international prizes and setting new standards for chamber music ensembles – in part thanks to numerous, highly acclaimed recordings – is the outcome of their unrelenting collective efforts. That is certainly the view of Gregor Sigl, who now becomes the longest serving member. On one hand the group’s artistic persona is always determined by the characteristics of the individuals making music. On the other hand, over the decades the quartet has developed its own DNA, so to speak, which has seen their collective organism become ever more complex and elastic, as Sigl puts it. “Each member has enriched and nurtured the quartet over the years. Each and every musician has made his or her own, invaluable contribution. They have all added to the group’s fund of internalised rules and factual knowledge, which is not only carefully sustained but also very deliberately passed on.”

For a long time now the quartet has restricted itself to three programmes per season, with the proviso that individual works may be carried through to the next season. Each programme is prepared with the utmost concentration for a period of weeks; it is then presented many times in concerts across the world, during which the quartet’s interpretations crystallise and become increasingly refined. The four musicians have an unfailingly perfectionist work ethic, which requires precise time management and a high degree of self-discipline. And this rigorous approach provides the framework for great flexibility. Over the years Gregor Sigl has found that “spontaneity arises when a person knows exactly what he or she is doing. Freedom only ever comes from complete security.” The members of the Artemis Quartett always keep detailed records of the results of work done in their rehearsals together, so that whenever they return to a composition they can start again at the same level of creative insight that had previously been reached. Sigl feels that by this means the quartet may well have built up a richer fund of ideas and experience than if they had always had the same four members.

Throughout everything the musical and ethical foundations of the Artemis Quartett have been stable. As Sigl has put it, besides the highest possible instrumental standards these foundations also embrace an “uncompromising striving for truth”. For the musicians of the Artemis Quartett extreme “curiosity” and “openness” in all their exchanges of ideas plus an ability to shelve one’s own ego form the basis of that “counteraction of all the participants in combative plurality” that philosopher Wolfgang Welsch once identified as the main interpersonal hallmark of the art of the string quartet. The constant high voltage of artistic imperatives in conjunction with immense concentration in the formation of a shared choreography creates the basis of the quartet’s stability both on and off the concert stage. Without this the Artemis Quartett would never have had a career lasting thirty years and more. “After all,” as Sigl says, “the hardest thing is staying together.”

It seems that all is set fair for the quartet in its new configuration. Early on in the selection process for the positions to be filled, Vineta Sareika and Gregor Sigl soon had their two new colleagues in their sights – but hesitated to approach them because both were already so very successful in their chosen careers. As Sigl says, Suyoen Kim and Harriet Krijgh are just “sensational players”, they are “hugely curious” – and “absolutely want to play in a quartet”. For both, this move marks the fulfilment of a long-held professional dream. The fast-approaching Beethoven jubilee year in 2020 will mark a phase during which this internationally renowned quartet will have a special place in the spotlight of public attention. Each of the three programmes with which the Artemis Quartett will mark the composer’s 250th birthday consists of an important Beethoven quartet (Op. 59 no. 3, Op. 130/133, or Op. 132) combined with newly commissioned works by Peteris Vasks, Lera Auerbach and Jörg Widmann. In one programme, which also features the string quintet version of Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata, Eckart Runge will return as second cello.

2019/2020
This biography is to be reproduced without any changes, omissions or additions, unless expressly authorized by artist management.
Contacts: Linda Uschinski, Sylwia Miteva

Images

Programme

2020 / 21
Beethoven 2020
Autumn 2020

Mendelssohn: String Quartet No. 2 in A minor, Op. 13
Vasks: New work
***
Beethoven: String Quartet No. 15 in A minor, Op. 132

 

with Eckart Runge (Cello)
Beethoven: String Quartet No. 9 in C major, Op. 59 No. 3 ”Razumovsky”
Auerbach: New work
***
Beethoven: String Quintet in A minor after “Kreutzer Sonata”, Op. 47

Programme I
Winter 2020 / 2021

Bach TBA
Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 15 in E-flat minor, Op. 144
Bach TBA
***
Bach: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 (arr. Sigl)

Programme II
Spring 2021

Mendelssohn: 4 Pieces for String Quartet, Op. 81
Verdi: String Quartet in E minor
***
Schubert: String Quartet No. 13 in A minor, Op. 29 D 804 ”Rosamunde” 

Beethoven 2020
New work by Jörg Widmann
Winter 2020

Haydn: String Quartet in C major, Op. 20 No. 2 Hob III: 32
Widmann: String Quartet No. 7 (Studie über Beethoven II)
***
Beethoven: String Quartet in B-flat major, Op. 130 with “Grosse Fuge”, Op. 133

New work by Lera Auerbach
with Eckart Runge (Cello)
Spring 2020

Beethoven: String Quartet No. 9 in C major, Op. 59 No. 3 ”Razumovsky”
Auerbach: New work
***
Beethoven: String Quintet in A minor after “Kreutzer Sonata”, Op. 47

New work by Pēteris Vasks
Autumn 2020

Mendelssohn: String Quartet No. 2 in A minor, Op. 13
Vasks: New Work
***
Beethoven: String Quartet No. 15 in A minor, Op. 132

2019 / 2020

Schedule

16.11.2019
19:30 Uhr
Hamburg, DE / Elbphilharmonie
Artemis Quartett
20.11.2019
20:00 Uhr
Dortmund, DE / Konzerthaus
Artemis Quartett
09.12.2019
20:00 Uhr
Luxemburg, LU / Philharmonie de Luxembourg
Artemis Quartett
15.01.2020
20:00 Uhr
Köln I, DE / Kölner Philharmonie
Artemis Quartett
16.01.2020
20:30 Uhr
Paris, FR / Philharmonie 2 (Cité de la Musique)
Artemis Quartett
18.01.2020
19:30 Uhr
Wien I, AT / Konzerthaus
Artemis Quartett
19.01.2020
17:00 Uhr
Zürich, CH / Tonhalle Maag
Artemis Quartett
23.01.2020
20:00 Uhr
Berlin II, DE / Philharmonie
Artemis Quartett
25.01.2020
20:15 Uhr
Amsterdam, NL / Het Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ'
Artemis Quartett
25.01.2020
20:45 Uhr
Amsterdam, NL / Het Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ'
Jerusalem Quartet, Artemis Quartett, Dudok Quartet, Ragazze Quartet
26.01.2020
17:00 Uhr
Amsterdam, NL / Het Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ'
Artemis Quartett
26.01.2020
20:15 Uhr
Amsterdam, NL / Het Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ'
Jerusalem Quartet, Gregor Sigl
22.02.2020
19:30 Uhr
London I, GB / Wigmore Hall
Artemis Quartett
27.02.2020
19:30 Uhr
Wien II, AT / Konzerthaus
Artemis Quartett
28.02.2020
19:30 Uhr
Wien II, AT / Konzerthaus
Artemis Quartett

Discography

Shostakovich
Dmitri Shostakovich
String Quartet No. 5 in B-flat major, Op. 92
Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 57
String Quartet No. 7 in F-sharp minor, Op. 108

Elisabeth Leonskaja - Piano

Brahms: String Quartets
Johannes Brahms
String Quartet No. 1, Op. 51 No. 1
String Quartet No. 3, Op. 67

Mendelssohn: String Quartets
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy
String Quartet No. 3, Op. 44 No. 1
String Quartet No. 6, Op. 80
String Quartet No. 2, Op. 13

Schubert: String Quartets
Franz Schubert
String Quartet D 810 "Death and the Maiden"
String Quartet D 804 "Rosamunde"
String Quartet D 887

Beethoven: Complete String Quartets
Ludwig van Beethoven
Complete String Quartets

Beethoven: String Quartets Op.18/6, 130 & 133
Ludwig van Beethoven
String Quartet No. 6, Op. 18 No. 6
String Quartet No. 13, Op. 130 & Grosse Fuge, Op. 133

Erato (Warner Classics), 2011

Beethoven: String Quartets Op. 18/5, 18/3 & 135
Ludwig van Beethoven
String Quartet No. 5, Op.18 No. 5
String Quartet No. 3, Op. 18 No. 3
String Quartet No. 16, Op. 135 "Muss es sein? Es muss sein!"


Beethoven: String Quartets Op. 18/1 & 127
Ludwig van Beethoven
String Quartet No. 1, Op. 18 No. 1
String Quartet No. 12, Op. 127

Beethoven: String Quartets Op. 59/3, 132, 18/2 & 131
Ludwig van Beethoven
String Quartet No. 9, Op. 59 No. 3 "Razumovsky"
String Quartet No. 15, Op. 132
String Quartet No. 2, Op. 18 No. 2
String Quartet No. 14, Op. 131

The Piazzolla Project
Astor Piazzolla
Concierto para Quinteto for Piano Quintet
Estaciones Portenas (Seasons in Buenos Aires) for Piano Trio
Fuga y Misterio for Piano Quintet
Suite del Angel for String Quartet

Jacques Ammon - Piano

Beethoven: String Quartets Op. 18/4 & 59/2
Ludwig van Beethoven
String Quartet No. 4, Op. 18 No. 4
String Quartet No. 8, Op. 59 No. 2 "Razumovsky"

Schubert: Quartettsatz & String Quintet
Franz Schubert
String Quartet D 703 "Quartettsatz"
Cello Quintet D 956

Truls Mørk - Cello

Schumann & Brahms: Piano Quintets
Robert Schumann
Piano Quintet, Op. 44

Johannes Brahms
Piano Quintet, Op. 34

Leif Ove Andsnes - Piano

Dvořák & Janáček: String Quartets
Antonín Dvořák
String Quartet No. 13, Op. 106

Leoš Janáček
String Quartet No. 2 "Intimate Letters"

Verklärte Nacht
Richard Strauss
Introduction to "Capriccio" for String Sextet

Alban Berg
Piano Sonata, Op. 1 (transcription for String Sextet by Heime Müller)

Arnold Schönberg
String Sextet, Op. 4 "Verklärte Nacht"

Thomas Kakuska - Viola
Valentin Erben - Cello

Ligeti: String Quartets
György Ligeti
String Quartet No. 1 "Metamorphoses nocturnes"
String Quartet No. 2

Beethoven: String Quartets Op. 59/1 & 95
Ludwig van Beethoven
String Quartet No. 11, Op. 95 "Quartetto serioso"
String Quartet No. 7, Op. 59 No. 1 "Rasumowsky"

Erato (Warner Classics), 2005

Mozart: Flute Quartets
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Ouverture KV 384 "Die Entführung aus dem Serail" (anonymous transcription of the 18th century for Flute and String Quartet)
Flute Quartet, KV 285b
Flute Quartet, KV 285a
Flute Quartet, KV 285
Flute Quartet, KV 298
Ouverture, KV 621 "La Clemenza di Tito" (anonymous transcription of the 18th century for Flute and String Quartet

Henrik Wiese - Flute

Brahms & Verdi
Johannes Brahms
String Quartet, Op. 51 No. 2

Giuseppe Verdi
String Quartet in E minor

Ars Musici, 2000

Wolf - Zemlinsky - Webern - Berg
Hugo Wolf
Italian Serenade in G Major

Alexander von Zemlinsky
String Quartet No. 1

Anton Webern
Five Movements for String Quartet, Op. 5

Alban Berg
Lyrical Suite

Ars Musici, 1997


Contact

Linda Uschinski
t: +49 (0)30 414 781 717
f: +49 (0)30 414 781 713
Sylwia Miteva
t: +49 (0)30 414 781 716
f: +49 (0)30 414 781 713