The Berlin-based Artemis Quartet has split down the middle, with two members leaving next May and the other two trying to find new partners to keep the group alive.
The departing players are the founder cellist Eckart Runge and the violinist Anthea Kreston.
No reason is given for their departure in the press release below and there is no quote from Anthea, whose weekly diary is a popular feature on Slipped Disc.
Anthea was imported from the US in 2016 after the traumatic suicide of Friedemann Weigle.
All four players have signed non-disclosure agreements.
The Artemis have been one of the most sought-after and energetic quartets on the world circuit. The two remaining players get to keep the brand name.
Here’s the press release, with lots of positive spin covering up a very painful split:
Berlin, 4th September 2018 – The thirtieth anniversary of the Artemis Quartet in 2019 will see
two new members joining the ensemble. Founding member Eckart Runge is leaving the Artemis
Quartet after the current constellation’s final concerts together in May 2019, in order to devote
more time to his own artistic projects and to his family. “I have enjoyed the privilege of being
able to work and perform with many wonderful colleagues and partners, of being able to share
the unique quartet repertoire with them and with our audiences over a very long time during my
life as a musician – and for that I am deeply grateful,” explains Eckart Runge regarding his
decision at the end of summer 2018.
Shortly after Runge announced his decision within the quartet, violinist Anthea Kreston also
decided to depart.
The Artemis Quartet accepts the challenge; successors for the positions of second violin and
cello will be announced later this autumn.
The Artemis Quartet has already undergone a number of musical transitions over the last ten
years: in 2007, founding members Heime Müller and Volker Jacobsen departed and were
replaced by Gregor Sigl and Friedemann Weigle. In 2012, first violinist Natalia Prishepenko left
the quartet, succeeded by Vineta Sareika. The most recent change was Anthea Kreston’s arrival
in 2016, after the death of Friedemann Weigle.
The quartet’s eventful history shows that a group is more than a combination of individuals –
particularly in chamber music. In the words of violist Gregor Sigl: “the Artemis Quartet is the
sum of all its members, including those from the past and future.”