Kit Armstrong | Piano, Composer
“While he commands an awesome technique, primarily he really is a quintessential, sensitive lyricist. Uncorrupted by any historicism, he takes full advantage of the tonal capabilities of the modern piano without surrendering to them. On the basis of a touch that is perpetually full of nuances, this is an approach to music characterized by emotion.” (Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger)
“Here is a pianist who seems to be on his way to lofty heights.” (Alfred Brendel)
Twenty-one-year-old pianist and composer Kit Armstrong is one of the most remarkable phenomena in today’s world of classical music. Having been celebrated early on for his immense intelligence, musicality and technical skill, he is now recognized as a mature artist firmly set on the path to an extraordinary career. While his virtuosity and flawless technique are breathtaking, his intellectual brilliance and his intuitive musicality enable a profound connection to the music that is analytical and deeply emotional at the same time. The Independent commented on his “relaxed and expressive authority”, hailing him as “a budding new member of the pianistic pantheon” and as “a composer to watch”.
Today Kit Armstrong is firmly established both as a pianist and as a composer. He has made recital appearances at Vienna’s Konzerthaus, Wigmore Hall in London, the Zurich Tonhalle, the Philharmonie in Cologne and Berlin, Hamburg’s Laeiszhalle and at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. During the last season, his Bach/Liszt program was described by Alfred Brendel as figuring “among the most satisfying piano playing I have witnessed in recent years.” Noteworthy orchestral projects include tours with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Christoph von Dohnányi, the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester under Riccardo Chailly and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra under Robin Ticciati. An avid chamber musician, Kit recently recorded a CD together with violinist Andrej Bielow and cellist Adrian Brendel. Among other works, it features a composition by Kit and was released by the record label Genuin in 2012. His numerous awards include five Morton Gould Young Composer Awards from the ASCAP Foundation, including the prestigious ASCAP Foundation Charlotte V. Bergen Scholarship, which he received in 2007 for his composition “Struwwelpeter: Character Pieces for Viola and Piano”.
Kit Armstrong received his training at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia and at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he studied with Benjamin Kaplan. He was introduced to Alfred Brendel at the age of 13 and has maintained a close and fruitful connection to him since. Mr. Brendel, who has described Kit as the greatest talent he has ever encountered, has influenced him as a teacher, mentor and advisor. The singular relationship between the two artists was captured in the critically acclaimed documentary “Set the Piano Stool on Fire” by British film maker Mark Kidel.
Kit Armstrong grew up in Los Angeles, Paris and London. He had his first encounter with the piano at the age of five and began studying mathematics at the age of seven. Kit holds degrees in music from the Royal Academy of Music, London and in mathematics from the University of Paris. When not playing the piano or composing, Kit particularly enjoys cooking, origami, tennis and computer games.
Please visit kitcarmstrong.webs.com for further information.