Born in Los Angeles in 1992, Kit Armstrong started composing at five and shortly after that began piano studies. Today he performs in the most famous concert halls in the world, including the Musikverein Vienna, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Royal Festival Hall London, the Wigmore Hall, the Berlin Philharmonie, the Laeiszhalle Hamburg, the Cologne Philharmonie, the NHK Hall Tokyo and the Palais des Beaux-Arts Brussels. He also works with important conductors including Riccardo Chailly, Christoph von Dohnányi, Manfred Honeck, Kent Nagano, Jonathan Nott, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Robin Ticcati.
Sony Classical released Kit Armstrong’s solo debut album in September 2013. Juxtaposing works by Bach, Ligeti and Armstrong, the CD illustrated the original nature of his programming. The selection of Chorale Preludes by J.S. Bach attracted particular attention. For Kulturradio (RBB) it is “one of the very few CDs that the world was waiting for”, the NDR Kultur described it as a “debut album full of emotions”. His second solo album “Symphonic Scenes”, released in November 2015, shows the many facets of the music of Franz Liszt.
As a passionate chamber musician, Kit Armstrong performs regularly in a trio with violinist Andrej Bielow and cellist Adrian Brendel. More recently, he has begun to work with singers.
This versatile artist has already made a name for himself as a composer. A six time winner of the ASCAP Foundation’s Morton Gould Young Composer’s Award, he also won the ASCAP Foundation”s Charlotte V. Bergen Prize for his composition, Struwwelpeter: Character Pieces for Viola and Piano.
He has received commissions from, among others, the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Winterthur Musikkollegium, and the Frankfurter Bachkonzerte which commissioned a clarinet concerto premiered by Paul Meyer in the Alte Oper Frankfurt with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra. His piano trio, “Stop Laughing, We’re rehearsing!” was released on CD by the GENUIN label.
Kit Armstrong’s compositions are published by Edition Peters.
Armstrong studied at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and at the Royal Academy of Music in London. From his seventh year he also studied natural sciences at various universities including Imperial College London. He earned his master’s degree in pure maths at the University of Paris VI. He received Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival’s Leonard Bernstein Award in 2010. Kit Armstrong won the WEMAG-Soloist Prize at the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival in 2014.
When he was 13 years old he came to know Alfred Brendel who since then has guided him as his teacher and mentor and ascribes 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 the British director Mark Kidel.
In 2013, Kit Armstrong acquired the Eglise Sainte-Thérèse in Hirson, France, with the plan of reawakening this disused church, a unique historical Art Deco monument, as a concert hall and creative centre for culture. Following its inauguration in 2014, it has become home to events featuring imaginative programmes and renowned artists.