Kit Armstrong

 

“As a pianist, I'm always in search of unforgettable sounds. I experienced such sounds repeatedly in recent years playing C. Bechstein grand pianos.“

Kit Armstrong about Bechstein

 

Kit Armstrong was born in Los Angeles in 1992. He started composing at the age of five and had first piano lessons soon after that. At the same time, he also proved to be very talented in mathematics, natural sciences and foreign languages.   Armstrong performs regularly in the greatest concert halls (Musikverein, Vienna; Concertgebouw, Amsterdam; Royal Festival Hall, London; Phiharmonie, Berlin; Laeiszhalle, Hamburg; Philharmonie, Cologne; NHK Auditorium, Tokyo; Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels), playing with such outstanding directors as Riccardo Chailly, Christoph von Dohnányi, Manfred Honeck, Kent Nagano, Jonathan Nott and Esa-Pekka Salonen.  

A chamber music aficionado, Kit Armstrong performs regularly with Andrej Bielow (violin) and Adrian Brendel (cello). He has also begun accompanying singers.  

A versatile artist, Armstrong is also famous as a composer: New York's ASCAP Foundation has repeatedly awarded him the Morton Gould Young Composers Award, while several institutions (including the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Winterthur Musikkollegium and the Frankfurt Bachkonzerte) commissioned compositions that have been published by Edition Peters. He also composed "Stop Laughing, We're Rehearsing", a work for piano trio that has been recorded on CD.

Kit Armstrong performed at the Konzerthaus Berlin, the Stuttgarter Liederhalle, the Alte Oper Frankfurt, the Tonhalle Düsseldorf, the Parco della Musica in Rom and many other concert halls on C. Bechstein.  

Photos © Neda Navaee, Gregor Willmes

 

In 2009 and 2010, Kit Armstrong gave three highly acclaimed recitals at C. Bechstein's premises. At the 2011 edition of Weimar's Liszt Festival, he played on both the master's Bechstein and a modern C. Bechstein concert grand piano. Meanwhile, he has frequently performed on Bechstein instruments during concerts at renowned venues such as Berlin's Konzerthaus. In 2015, he recorded a Sony Classical CD with works by Franz Liszt on the C. Bechstein D 282 concert grand piano of the Jesus-Christus-Kirche in the Dahlem borough of Berlin.  

A wealth of videos featuring Kit Armstrong playing Bechstein pianos is available on the Internet.

Kit Armstrong on Youtube

Symphonic Scenes

Symphonic Scenes

Kit Armstrong recorded his second CD for Sony Classical in Berlin. It includes various works by Franz Liszt — and was fittingly recorded on a C. Bechstein D 282 concert grand piano. “As a pianist, I am always looking for sounds that cannot be forgotten,” said Kit Armstrong. “And in recent years, I have experienced many such moments while playing on C. Bechstein grand pianos.” He might have given this statement looking back on the concert he gave during the “Year of Liszt” in 2011 in Weimar, playing the composer’s former Bechstein grand piano. The close relationship between Carl Bechstein and Franz Liszt doubtless played a role in Armstrong’s decision to choose a C. Bechstein grand for recording the new CD.

This CD presents orchestral works by Liszt in the composer’s own piano transcriptions, including Salve Polonia, The Night Train, three of the Mephisto waltzes and Tasso – Lamento e trionfo. It was recorded in the renowned Jesus Christ Church in Berlin-Dahlem. Werner Albrecht, Chief Technician at C. Bechstein, attended to the piano, which has a voice beautifully suited to Kit Armstrong’s virtuosic and sensitive playing action. One special feature of the CD is that the three days of recording included two private concerts, so that nine-tenths of what is heard on the CD consists of recordings from these two concerts, with 85 percent from the second concert alone. Kit Armstrong loves the inspiration that comes from his audience: “A concert and the act of performing are, for me, the point of origin for every interpretation. And when I am recording, I try to play as though I were giving a concert. I want my interpretation to be the result of my fingers on the piano, rather than of computer processing afterward.”  

Frédéric Chopin: Concerto No. 1

Kit Armstrong in Rehearsal with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg

More about Kit Armstrong