By John von Rhein
Personnel changes within string quartets often are matters of great sensitivity that affect the remaining players and the life of the ensemble in different ways.
Some famous quartets, like the Emerson, Juilliard and Borodin, take the departure of one or more players in stride, wasting no time bringing new blood into the ensemble. Others are not so adaptable. Two venerable, world-class quartets, the Chicago-based Vermeer and the Tokyo, chose to disband rather than to fill the chairs of exiting musicians.
The Berlin-based Artemis Quartet, which will make its Chicago debut Friday night in Mandel Hall at the University of Chicago, has undergone several shifts of personnel since its founding in 1989 at the University of Lubeck in Germany. What makes the Artemis' saga unique is the tragic circumstances under which the most recent of those shifts occurred.
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