The Amatis Piano Trio was founded in 2014 by German violinist Lea Hausmann, British cellist Samuel Shepherd, and Dutch/Chinese pianist Mengjie Han. The three musicians met in Amsterdam, and have performed together in 33 countries around the world. The piano trio is one of the leading ensembles of its generation, exalted worldwide for their energy, insight, communication and passion.
Only weeks after their formation the trio won the Audience Prize at the Grachtenfestival-Concours hosted by the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and First Prize at the International Parkhouse Award at Wigmore Hall in London, both venues that now invite them as regular artists. 2018/19 season saw the trio selected as ECHO Rising Stars (European Concert Hall Organisation). From 2016 to 2018, the Amatis Trio was part of the BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists and in 2018 they were invited to participate in the Verbier Festival Academy in Switzerland.
Summer 2019 saw the Amatis Trio make their BBC Proms and Edinburgh International Festival debuts and performances as soloists in Beethoven's Triple Concerto with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at Kings Lynn Festival.
Last season saw the Amatis Trio in Europe’s major concert halls including Wigmore Hall, Konzerthaus Dortmund, Philharmonie Cologne, Vienna Konzerthaus, Berlin Philharmonie and Philharmonie de Paris, amongst others. The trio then made a debut tour of Sweden and Turkey, became Artist in Residence at Cambridge University and in February 2020 visited Canada as appointees of the Irene R. Miller Piano Trio Residency at the University of Toronto, Canada.
Amatis Trio released their debut CD on cAVI Records featuring the music of Enescu, Ravel and Britten. The disc received high praise amongst critics and earned the ensemble's inclusion in the Gramophone Magazine's 'Artists to Watch'.
The trio has recently been awarded some of the most prestigious music prizes from around the world including the Kersjesprijs of the Netherlands and the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship award.
The Amatis Trio’s commitment to contemporary music led to the foundation in 2015 of the ‘Dutch Piano Trio Composition Prize’, encouraging young composers to expand the piano trio repertoire. The trio has since commissioned and premiered 15 contemporary pieces, most recently Moorlands, a piano trio work by Swedish composer Andrea Tarrodi.
Since 2015 the trio has worked intensively with Wolfgang Redik (Vienna Piano Trio) and Rainer Schmidt (Hagen Quartet). Other important musical influences include Lukas Hagen, Hatto Beyerle, the Trio Jean Paul, Fabio Bidini, Ilya Grubert, Anner Bylsma, Ivry Gitlis, Christian Schuster, Ib Hausmann, Imre Rohmann, Menahem Pressler, and Sir András Schiff. Other prize-winning accolades include; the 2018 Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition, the 2018 International Joseph Haydn Competition in Vienna, the International Joseph Joachim Competition in Weimar, Germany, as well as their nomination for the Dutch Classical Talent Award in 2015/2016.
Lea and Sam both play on very fine Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume instruments kindly loaned by generous patrons through the Beares International Violin Society.