An artist is generally a musician, group of musicians, or other music professional (like a producer or engineer).
Among other things, sort names help to ensure that all the artists that start with "The" don't end up up under "T".
The guidelines for sort names are the best place to check for more specific usage info.
The type is used to state whether an artist is a person, a group, or something else.
Note that not every ensemble related to classical music is an orchestra or choir.
The Borodin Quartet and The Hilliard Ensemble, for example, are simply groups.
The gender is used to explicitly state whether a person or character identifies as male, female or neither. The artist area, as the name suggests, indicates the area with which an artist is primarily identified with.
It is often, but not always, its birth/formation country.
The begin and end dates indicate when an artist started and finished its existence.
Its exact meaning depends on the type of artist: Begin date represents the date when the group first formed: if a group dissolved and then reunited, the date is still that of when they first formed.