Can a quartet survive the loss of 2 players?

Can a quartet survive the loss of 2 players?


norman lebrecht

October 20, 2019

In a new film on the Artemis Quartet, one member describes the final months as ‘catastrophic.’

Can the ensemble survive?

Watch here.



  • double-sharp says:

    ” String Quartet seeks to recruit 2 violinists and a cellist. Contacts with concert-giving organisations, promoters, and sponsors would be welcome. Own thermos flask & music-stand needed. “

  • Gerry Feinsteen says:

    One really must wonder if half the most recent group is out (including the last remaining original member) what exactly does it mean to be part of the ensemble.
    Could not the dropped half create the New Artemis Quartet? Or “Quartet of Formerly Artemis Quartet Members”—that might be interesting given that there’s more than enough players out there to fill the positions.

    Either way, things are looking up for them. The new players are outstanding musicians

    • “Could not the dropped half create the New Artemis Quartet? ”

      Except that, based on their comments, being in a quartet was what they didn’t want to do anymore.

    • Ed in but not of Texas says:

      Well, the same may be asked about any sports team. After a decade or so, most, if not all of the players have rotated off the team, either to other teams or into retirement, (or sports broadcasting). Is it still the same team? I’m reminded of the story woodworkers like to tell of the old woodworker who took exceptionally good care of his tools. He had, for many, many years, an old axe. He had replaced the axe head a couple of times, and handle at least three times, but he had that axe for most of his life.

  • Esther Cavett says:

    It was never quite clear to me why Ms Kreston left. On SD we were given minutiae of her and her family’s life, but very little on this momentous decision. It was truly the gig of a lifetime and surely AK has to feel great sadness. This is something she could share when she’s up for it

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    I should imagine it would be difficult to maintain an ensemble like this in the age of narcissism. Sadly, this is the zeitgeist.

  • Marg says:

    I had not heard of Artemis until Anthea Kreston began her weekly diary on this blog. For me it provided a wonderful insight into the inner workings of a professional quartet, and I learned a huge amount about the quartet, recording, preparing for a concert, life on the road and so on. I hope they are able to continue and wish them well.

  • Peter says:

    The Kings Singers have none of the original members, but they are recognisably the same ensemble.

  • Alan says:

    Does anyone know if further screenings will take place?

  • Hartmut says:

    Doesn’t seem like a very smart move. The concerts are exceedingly popular – without any particular form of public advertising. People queue one and a half hours before the start to secure a token for admission (concerts are free!), the atmosphere is extremely friendly, the audience is attentive and knowledgeable. After the concert, you either stroll through some of the exhibitions, or, even more likely, have a coffee and a scone in the museum cafe. What do you call the director’s decision? Shooting himself in the foot?