Born in Los Angeles in 1992, Kit Armstrong began composing at five and shortly after that commenced piano studies. Today he performs at the world’s premier concert venues, including the Vienna Musikverein, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Royal Festival Hall, Wigmore Hall, the Berlin Philharmonie, Hamburg Laeiszhalle, the Cologne Philharmonie, the NHK Hall Tokyo as well as the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. He frequently works with prominent conductors such as Riccardo Chailly, Christoph von Dohnányi, Manfred Honeck, Kent Nagano, Jonathan Nott, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Robin Ticcati.
The 2016-2017 season saw a number of highlights: concerts with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields at the Cologne Philharmonie and at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, a celebrated debut with the Staatskapelle Dresden and Christian Thielemann at Suntory Hall Tokyo in November 2016, and his Vienna Philharmonic debut under the auspices of Herbert Blomstedt. A further milestone was set by his solo recital at the Lucerne Piano Festival. Kit Armstrong returned to the Staatskapelle Dresden in April 2017, this time under the baton of Omer Meir Wellber.
Sony Classical released Kit Armstrong’s solo debut album in September 2013. Juxtaposing works of Bach, Ligeti and Armstrong, the CD is a fine example of Armstrong’s ingenious programs; his selection of Bach Chorale Preludes attracted particular critical attention. According to RBB Kulturradio, it is “one of the very few CDs that the world was waiting for,” while NDR Kultur described it as a “debut album full of emotions.” His second solo album “Symphonic Scenes,” released in November 2015, displays the many facets of the music of Franz Liszt.
An avid chamber musician, Kit Armstrong performs regularly in a trio together with violinist Andrej Bielow and cellist Adrian Brendel. In recent times, he has also begun various collaborations with singers.
A further facet of Armstrong’s versatile artistic profile are his compositions, with which he has already made lasting impressions. Having won the ASCAP Foundation’s Morton Gould Young Composer’s Award six times, he was also awarded the ASCAP Foundation’s prestigious Charlotte V. Bergen Prize for his composition, Struwwelpeter: Character Pieces for Viola and Piano.
Past commissions include works for the Leipzig Gewandhaus and the Winterthur Musikkollegium. The Frankfurter Bachkonzerte commissioned a clarinet concerto that was premiered by Paul Meyer at the Alte Oper Frankfurt together with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra. Armstrong’s piano trio, “Stop Laughing, We’re rehearsing!” was released on CD by the GENUIN label.
Kit Armstrong’s compositions are published by Edition Peters.
Kit Armstrong received the Leonard Bernstein Award from the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival in 2010. He won the WEMAG Soloist Prize at the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival in 2014.
Armstrong first encountered Alfred Brendel at the age of 13; Mr Brendel has guided him as teacher and mentor ever since, ascribing to him “an understanding of the great piano works that combines freshness and subtlety, emotion and intellect.” The unique relationship between Armstrong and Brendel was captured in the film “Set the Piano Stool on Fire” by British director Mark Kidel.
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