In 1980 Niklas Schmidt founded the Trio Fontenay which grew rapidly in profile and recognition both nationally and internationally. Alongside its many concert tours across the continents, an enormous amount of recordings for the radio and recording industries firmly established the extraordinary reputation of the ensemble. In 1997, Niklas Schmidt brought this collaboration to an end in order to devote himself increasingly to educational activities. In 1987 he was appointed cello instructor at the Academy of Music and Theater in Hamburg and later assumed a professorship there for chamber music and cello. Since 2005, he has directed the newly established “Master of Music Program in Chamber Music” at the same institution. He has recently also been dedicating himself anew to soloistic pursuits.