Music and family tips from a celebrated violinist.
You moved to Berlin just last year to join the Artemis Quartet. Has living here been what you expected?
It has been a surprisingly easy city to get comfortable in – easier than, say, NYC. It is affordable and drivable and the public transportation is fantastic.
What neighborhood do you call home? What are some things about that neighborhood that you like?
We started in Kreuzberg, which was a blast because of the food options, the eateries and outdoor markets. We also loved the mix of cultures. Then we moved to Halensee to be closer to my work and to international schools for the girls. It is more calm here, and very convenient to get anywhere in the city. It also helps that we live above a gelato store.
Do you think having Berlin as its base has influenced the Artemis Quartet over the years?
Absolutely. I consider the Artemis to be a symbol of Berlin – the quartet of Berlin. We (they) started as a group of incredible young musicians and hit the ground running with a string of international awards. Then they became road warriors – traveling the globe at breakneck speeds, winning Echo awards for their numerous recordings – and now we are parents, teachers, and amongst the legends of living quartets on the planet, playing around 70 concerts per year. How lucky am I? Incredibly.
What other musical offerings of the city would you recommend?
The Artemis Quartet has its own concert series in the Philharmonie – we play three times a year, next on 6 April. Come have a beer with us after the concert at the lovely backstage cafe. I had the opportunity to perform at Piano Salon Christophori the other week – what a great venue! They have concerts in a warehouse with dismantled piano corpses lining the walls and a hodgepodge of vintage chairs for the audience. Keep an eye out for “Cello Cinema” from the Runge/Ammon Duo. It’s the cellist of the Artemis Quartet performing famous movie music, with the movie on a big screen.
Despite a busy performance schedule that has you traveling a lot, what are some favorite Berlin discoveries?
My time at home is precious, and family oriented. This means biking in Tiergarten or the gardens at Schloss Charlottenberg, going to the Lego store, to Museum Island to see Nefertiti and the Gates of Ishtar, or for croissants, gelato, and hot chocolate. It also means finding fresh foods at the many street markets or eating with friends. Thalassa in Kreuzberg (Gneisenaustr. 57) has great Greek food, and Mr. Minsch (www.mr-minsch-torten.de) and Princess Cheesecake (www.princesscheesecake.de) have incredible desserts.
Imagine you have a day off to spend however you choose. What would your perfect day look like?
My favorite day: wake up late, make pumpkin waffles, take the M29 bus (sitting in the front seats on top with our girls) to Loxx Miniature World (www.loxx-berlin.com), and then to Museum Island. Grab a bite close to the museum (something healthy and easy like Dean & David). Spend a couple of hours, then have a snack at the beautiful café in the Bode Museum. Come home, make a nice dinner, read Harry Potter, then bedtime for the kids! Then, have a glass of wine with my husband and curl up by the fireplace with a good book and some Beethoven. The Artemis Complete Beethoven Box Set is a favorite.
Clockwise from top left: Museum Island; Anthea Kreston; ice cream "mit Streusel," a German kids' favorite; Anthea Kreston and her children in front of the Charlottenburg palace; the bust of Nefertiti; cheesecake from Princess Cheesecake.