Break-up: World-famous string quartet dissolves

Break-up: World-famous string quartet dissolves


norman lebrecht

May 23, 2021

One of the world’s most outstanding string quartets has suspended operations after 32 years, sending shock ripples through the sector.

The Artemis Quartet, founded in 1989, has suffered the same paralysis as everyone else during Covid. But the quartet had only just replaced two members before the pandemic and this, together with individual issues, has prompted the remaining members to suspend the band.

Here is a statement to from violinist Gregor Sigl:

The Artemis Quartet announces a break from performing for an indefinite period of time and dissolves the current formation. The consequences of the gruelling pandemic, a serious case of illness in the immediate family and the upcoming maternity leave of Vineta Sareika do not allow the quartet to plan reliably at this time. The Artemis Quartet will regroup and return to the stage in due course.

The quartet is well known to Slipped Disc readers from Anthea Kreston’s weekly columns on its progress. Anthea, a rare American in a European string quartet, quit in April 2019 with one other player after a period of turbulence. Their replacements were Berlin-based concertmaster Suyoen Kim and Dutch solo cellist Harriet Krijgh. 

Both have now returned to their prior careers. Sareika is having a baby and Sigl promises more information in the coming weeks.

The Artemis were always an exciting quartet. Their recordings of late Beethoven are breathtaking.



  • Jan Kaznowski says:

    But if they will “…regroup and return to the stage in due course”, surely the headline is over-dramatic, saying they will “dissolve”?

  • Anthea Kreston says:

    Best of luck, fearless Artemis Quartet! It was wonderful to be a part of this amazing group for 3.5 years!

    • RW2013 says:

      We’ve got to stop meeting like this…
      Unforgotten the incredible Britten 2 at one of your last concerts.

      • Anthea Kreston says:

        RW – it’s always nice to hear from you and I hope you have stayed busy and well during Covid!

    • Bernard says:

      Not only are you a wonderful viola player, you also have a fine literary talent.
      I enjoyed reading your insightful columns on SD about the trials & tribulations of life in a professional string quartet. I would strongly encourage you to get them published unless there are copyright problems with NL.

      • Anthea Kreston says:

        Hello Bernard –
        Yes I am working hard on a book currently. Norman has allowed me to use the materials I wrote for a book. Keep tuned!

  • Marg says:

    Sad news but it sounds like inevitable in the given set of circumstances

  • RW2013 says:

    Into what language does “regroup and return to the stage in due course” translate as “dissolve”?
    All best to the lovely Vineta for the baby.

  • Viennois says:

    Damn, what does that mean for upcoming concerts? They were scheduled for a couple of gigs in Vienna this coming season.

  • David Rowe says:

    I would say that given the two newly-named members have returned to their prior employment, Norman is justified in characterizing this as a dissolution. Should the quartet reconfigure, it sounds as if it will be a completely new ensemble.

  • Chilynne says:

    Dang, had hoped to hear the Artemis in its new incarnation in the US once various covid-related restrictions were lifted! Wishing Vineta a happy, healthy baby. Perhaps, I’ll have a chance to hear another version of Artemis in a few years. Hope so!

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    What’s in a name?

  • Hartmut says:

    Watch the moving documentary “The Neverending Quartet” from last year here: (Dutch subtitles)