Life In Berlin: Violinist Anthea Kreston Enjoys Every Part Of Life

Jan 26, 2017

Violinist Anthea Kreston is not a person to sit back and observe life.

“I like to dig in and feel all the excitement, the danger and the love. Every part of life I enjoy."

Even loss. Last summer, Kreston’s violin was stolen on a train from Berlin to Freiburg. It had traveled with her all around the world. Her grandfather bought it for her when she was 14.

Violinist Anthea Kreston
Credit Courtesy of Anthea Kreston

“I realized in loosing something, it didn’t really actually matter, because I already lost so much," she tells me. "And maybe it was a chance for me to gain a new sound, a new violin, or that I can’t lose it, because the sound of my violin is actually the sound of me.”

Kreston got her violin back. This experience made the American feel even more welcomed into a new chapter of her life. The musician is known for her extroverted performance in the Amelia Piano Trio, one of the great American chamber ensembles. Last March, Kreston joined the renowned Berlin-based Artemis Quartet that had lost a member to suicide.

“They have always been three men and a woman," Kreston explains.

She knew members of the string quartet from her student times at Juilliard; still more than 150 musicians auditioned for the second violin position. Kreston was shocked when they chose her.

“The very idea of having a non-German - especially an American - was to me a ridiculous idea, and to have a second woman to change the balance that had been so formal, and so German for those 27 years also seemed ridiculous.”

Within three weeks she relocated with her husband and their two young daughters from rural Oregon to Berlin.

“It’s an unbelievable opportunity to be part of vibrant living history that nods its head and respects the past and respects the present and lives in the heart of so many people," Kreston expresses. "The Artemis Quartet is legendary and it will join, as it already has, with the Juilliard and the Guarneri Quartet and the Emerson Quartet.”

To play second violin in the famous string Quartet is one part of her life in Berlin; another part is to perform with her husband Jason in the newly formed Humboldt Trio. On this Sunday, they make their debut at the Piano Salon Christophori in Berlin with music by Ernst von Dohnanyi, Arnold Schönberg and Beethoven. The next stop of the Humboldt Trio is the newly opened Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg. Anthea Kreston is clearly excited about it.

"I know it’s crazy. It’s already sold out in Hamburg and it’s part of the three week opening festival of these halls."