By John von Rhein
Compared to the ad hoc Andsnes foursome, the Artemis Quartet is a permanent ensemble, founded in Lubeck, Germany, in 1989 and based in Berlin. It, too, boasts international personnel and its Chicago debut Friday night at the University of Chicago's Mandel Hall made it clear that an important string quartet had arrived.
The group, appearing under the auspices of UChicago Presents, was beginning a nine-concert North American tour, its first in its latest incarnation. Chicago-born violinist Anthea Kreston joined the Artemis as second violin earlier this year, following the death of the quartet's former violist, Friedemann Weigle, in 2015. His loss left violinist Vineta Sareika, violinist (now violist) Gregor Sigl and cellist Eckart Runge to recast the ensemble in its present form. That process appears to be taking hold smoothly, with no loss of the technical finesse, strong musical characterization and superb ensemble that are making the Artemis one of Europe's fastest-rising young string quartets.
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