For people intimidated by classical music, 2010 Idyllwild Arts Academy graduate Lea Hausmann may have hit upon how to take the edge off.
“Sometimes we have our audience vote on what piece we should finish with.”
“We” means Lea, on violin, and her partners in the Amatis Trio (www.amatistrio.com), cellist Samuel Shepherd and pianist Mengjie Han. As BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/2J8nGhHFq1hX3KPB6S8bQHH/new-generation-artists-a-to-z), they perform in the most prestigious concert halls throughout Europe and Asia.
“We try in whatever way we can to make our performances innovative,” Lea says.
Shepherd will often tell the audience something about the piece Amatis is about to perform (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1HEqytrw-Y).
“Studies show that people enjoy classical music more if they have some direction what to listen for,” Lea says. “So Sam might explain that the composer had just fallen in love, or experienced a tragedy.”
She transferred to the Academy as a junior, from Frankfurt.
“I loved Idyllwild. My school at home was extremely academic. Suddenly all the odd, artistic types were in one place at the same time.”
Lea would like to come back.
“We hope to perform in the new concert hall and teach a master class. We gave master classes at a Chinese university last year. It was great fun.”
The Amatis Trio (www.facebook.com/amatispianotrio) would need to fit a visit to Idyllwild into a packed calendar.
“We’re lucky to be able to live entirely off of classical music, but it means a lot of traveling. Recently we did a tour to Hong Kong and Indonesia.”
That’s from their base in Amsterdam. Lea’s own schedule also includes periodic travel to Salzburg, in Austria, where she’s completing a Master’s degree in music.
As for the future of the Amatis Trio (www.instagram.com/amatispianotrio), “we’d love to set up our own festival.”
Their listeners vote Yes.