The Berlin based Artemis Quartet was founded in 1989 at the University of Music Lubeck and is counted among the foremost worldwide quartet formations today. Important mentors have been Walter Levin, Alfred Brendel, the Alban Berg Quartet, the Juilliard Quartet and the Emerson Quartet.
Being awarded First Prize in the ARD Competition in 1996 and six months later at the ‘Premio Borciani’ made the quartet internationally successful. Yet the four initially followed an invitation of the Institute for Advanced Study Berlin in order to enhance their studies as an ensemble, and to broaden themselves in an interdisciplinary exchange with renowned academics.
The Artemis Quartet gives concerts at all the great musical centers and international festivals in Europe, the United States, Asia, South America, and Australia. Since 2004 the ensemble has created its own cycles at the chamber music hall of the Berlin Philharmonie, since 2011 at the Wiener Konzerthaus (together with the Belcea Quartet) and beginning with season 2016/17, at Prince Regent Theatre Munich.
From the beginning, collaboration with musical colleagues has been a major inspiration for the ensemble. Thus, the Artemis Quartet has toured with notable musicians such as Sabine Meyer, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Juliane Banse, and Jörg Widmann. Various recordings document the artistic cooperation with several partners; for example the piano quintets by Schumann and Brahms with Leif Ove Andsnes, the Schubert quintet with Truls Mørk or Arnold Schonberg’s ‘Verklärte Nacht’ with Thomas Kakuska and Valentin Erben from the Alban Berg Quartet.
Since 2005 the Artemis Quartet has exclusively been recording for Virgin (now Erato) and can now look back on a large discography. Their recordings have been repeatedly awarded The German Record Critic’s Award, the Gramophone Award, the Diaspason d’Or, as well as the ECHO Klassik. The entire recording of Beethoven’s quartets for strings was honored with the important French Grand Prix de l’Academie Charles Cros in 2011. Most recently released was a recording of works by Mendelssohn in 2014 (ECHO Klassik) as well as, and dedicated to, Friedemann Weigle, the recording of Brahms’ quartets Op. 51/1 and Op. 67 in the Fall of 2015 (The German Record Critic’s Award).
Not least to increase the awareness for what is new in the field of established music, the examination of contemporary music is always a significant part of the artistic work of the ensemble. Composers such as Mauricio Sotelo (2004), Jörg Widmann (2006), and Thomas Larcher (2008) wrote works for the Artemis Quartet. In 2014 a concert for string and orchestra by Daniel Schnyder premiered in Frankfurt. The musicians launched their own contest for musical composition in 2015. Eduard Demetz was nominated the awardee in November 2015 and his String Quartet No. 2 receives its premiere in Berlin in the first half of 2016.
Besides their practice in concerts, the four musicians teach as professors at the University of the Arts Berlin and Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth in Brussels.
After the tragic death of Friedemann Weigle in July, 2015, the Artemis Quartet restructured itself in the beginning of 2016 with Anthea Kreston taking the position of second violinist and Gregor Sigl assuming the position of violist.