Former first violinist David Ehrlich, who was fired from the ensemble in 2000; then sued and won a $611,000 judgment, has agreed to accept the payment so that his former colleagues would not have to give up their instruments to pay the judgment.
The feud began in 2000, when following years of internal difficulties, the group decided to fire Ehrlich. He successfully took the case to court, and was awarded a share of the quartet's worth.
The judgment forced two of the remaining members, cellist Clyde Shaw and violist Doris Lederer, who are married, to declare bankruptcy. They were initially facing a January 6 deadline to surrender their instruments and other possessions.
Second violinist Akemi Takayama is negotiating with Ehrlich separately.
The quartet was founded in 1974 by Shaw and three other musicians. Lederer joined in 1976; Ehrlich joined in 1984 as first violinist; and Takayama replaced Davis Salness in 1997.
Ehrlich told the Times, "I don't want them to lose every little thing that they had. If they can come out of this with something, then I would feel better about it too."