Kit Armstrong is a prolific pianist, composer and curator. Born in Los Angeles, he pursued a respected career as a child prodigy in the U.S. before he decided to leave for Europe at the age of 13 to concentrate on his studies and enhance his artistic personality. It was the great Alfred Brendel who guided him as teacher and mentor, ascribing to him “an understanding of the great piano works that combines freshness and subtlety, emotion and intellect”. At the age of 18, he reappeared in public and embarked on a major career throughout Europe. Today at 26, he performs at the world’s premier concert venues and has already worked with prominent conductors such as Riccardo Chailly, Christoph von Dohnányi, Manfred Honeck, Kent Nagano, Jonathan Nott, François-Xavier Roth and Esa-Pekka Salonen.
The 2016/17 season saw Kit Armstrong’s debuts with the Staatskapelle Dresden and Christian Thielemann at Suntory Hall Tokyo and his Vienna Philharmonic debut under Herbert Blomstedt. The current season took off with his debut at New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival with Louis Langrée and a concert tour in Japan with the NHK Symphony Orchestra. An avid chamber musician, Kit Armstrong performs regularly in a duo with violinist Renaud Capuçon and in a piano trio together with Andrej Bielow and Adrian Brendel. One of their particularly emotionally charged pursuits is a focus on the trios of Haydn. In recent times he has also begun various collaborations with singers.
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 programmes; his selection of Bach Chorale Preludes attracted particular critical attention. The critics described it as “one of the very few CDs that the world was waiting for” and 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.
A further facet of Kit 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. His compositions are published by Edition Peters.
In 2013, Kit Armstrong acquired the historical Art-déco church Sainte-Thérèse de l‘Enfant-Jésus in Hirson and made this small village in Northern France his musical home. “It is here that I envisage creating my own artistic space, with new projects, for example in trying new ways of presenting the music and rediscovering unknown literature”, Kit Armstrong comments. The church has now become a centre for manifold cultural encounters.
Hugh Wolff & Kit Armstrong (piano)
Re: Beethoven - Natural Wonders (in antwoord op Beethovens Zesde Symfonie, "Pastorale")