Kit Armstrong © Jason Alden
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Byrd | Mozart | Liszt
Fri, 25.11. | 12.15 | No. 16507
Kit Armstrong © Jason Alden
How many “child prodigies” actually succeed in making it in music? Most of them are hyped and then almost as soon forgotten. This fate might have even happened to Kit Armstrong when he began his meteoric ascent in 2008, at the age of 16. No less than the judicious Alfred Brendel praised him as “the greatest musical talent I have encountered in my entire life,” and the marketing machine was soon spinning in high gear. But Armstrong, an American with Taiwanese roots who speaks perfect German, who completed a degree in mathematics, and who composes, resisted all temptations. He refused to sign questionable record deals and agree to shady agency offers so that he could take his time to develop further. He gave only a limited number of concerts of the most demanding repertoire, immersing himself deeply, and with humility, in the great piano literature. With the result that today he ranks among the most unusual and interesting performers. Listen for yourself!
Kit Armstrong © Neda Navaee
Born in Los Angeles in 1992, Kit Armstrong started composing at five and shortly after that began learning piano. He later studied at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and the Royal Academy of Music in London. At the age of 13, he came to know Alfred Brendel, who has guided him as his teacher and mentor. Along with his musical training, Armstrong has studied natural sciences, earning his master’s degree in pure mathematics at the University of Paris. As a pianist, Kit Armstrong today concertizes in such venues as the Musikver-ein in Vienna, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Berlin Philharmonie, NHK Hall in Tokyo, and the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. During the past season, he made his debuts with the Staatskapelle Dresden under Christian Thielemann and with the Vienna Philharmonic under Herbert Blom-
stedt. In 2016 Armstrong additionally made his debut as an organist. He will give organ recitals during the current season at the Berlin and Cologne Philharmonie concert halls. Also on his schedule for 2017-18 are appearances at the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York and with the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, as well as performances of Mozart’s violin sonatas with Renaud Capuçon at the new Boulez Saal in Berlin. Armstrong has recorded works by Bach and Ligeti; his most recent release is the album Symphonic Scenes, which features music of Franz Liszt. His compositions have received the Morton Gould Young Composers Award and the Charlotte V. Bergen Prize. As a pianist, Kit Armstrong won the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival’s Leonard Bernstein Award (2010) and the WEMAG-Soloist Prize at the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival (2014). In 2013 he acquired the Église Sainte-Thérèse in Hirson, France, where he has been presenting concerts and exhibitions since 2014.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 25 November 2016 with a program of works by William Byrd, Wolfgang Amadé Mozart, and Franz Liszt.
November 2017Other dates