Born in Los Angeles in 1992, Kit Armstrong started to compose aged five, beginning his piano studies shortly afterwards.
He has appeared at some of the world’s foremost venues, such as the Musikverein Vienna, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Royal Festival Hall and Wigmore Hall in London, the Berlin Philharmonie, the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg, the Cologne Philharmonie, the NHK Hall in Tokyo, and at the Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels. He has worked under eminent conductors, such as Riccardo Chailly, Christoph von Dohnányi, Manfred Honeck, Kent Nagano, Jonathan Nott, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Robin Ticcati.
Kit Armstrong’s first solo album was released by Sony Classical in September 2013 and, in an illustration of his original approach to programming, features works by Bach, Ligeti, and Armstrong himself. The selection of Bach preludes and chorals was particularly remarked upon. Kulturradio (RBB) praised it as “one of very rare CDs the world was waiting for,” while NDR Kultur described it as “a debut album full of emotions”. A keen chamber musician, Kit Armstrong regularly appears in the trio he has formed with violinist Andrej Bielow and cellist Adrian Brendel. Recently he has also started to work with singers.
This versatile artist has already made a name for himself as a composer. Six times winner of the ASCAP Foundation’s Morton Gould Young Composers Award, he has also received the same Foundation’s Charlotte V. Bergen Prize for his piece Struwwelpeter: Character Pieces for Viola and Piano. He has received commissions from, among others, the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Musikkollegium Winterthur, and the Frankfurter Bachkonzerte, which commissioned a clarinet concerto whose premier was performed by Paul Meyer with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra at the Alte Oper Frankfurt. His piano trio, Stop Laughing, We’re Rehearsing! is issued on CD by the Genuin label.Kit Armstrong’s compositions are published by Peters Edition.
Kit Armstrong studied at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and at the Royal Academy of Music, London. Beginning at the age of seven he also studied natural science at various universities, including Imperial College, London. Kit Armstrong obtained a master’s degree in pure mathematics at the University of Paris VI. He was awarded the Leonard Bernstein Prize at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival in 2010 and the WEMAG soloist prize at the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival in 2014.
When thirteen, he got to know Alfred Brendel, who since has guided him as both teacher and mentor, praising him for his “understanding of the great piano works that combines freshness and subtlety, emotion and intellect”. The unique relationship that exists between Armstrong and Brendel has been captured on film in Set the Piano Stool on Fire by British filmmaker Mark Kidel.