Kit Armstrong © J.F. Mousseau
Schumann | Liszt
Wed, 01.09. | 12.15 | No. 211324
Kit Armstrong © J.F. Mousseau
On 17 February 1854, Rose Monday, Robert Schumann, who was dressed only in a robe and felt slippers, joined the Düsseldorf carnival – but not to participate in the celebrations. He went straight for the pontoon bridge and threw himself into the Rhine, wanting to end his life. Although he was rescued by fishermen, he was admitted to the Endenich mental hospital as “mentally deranged.” On that fateful day, he was still working on his last composition, the Ghost Variations on a theme that the angels are said to have sung to him. Can one hear Schumann’s condition in this music? Kit Armstrong offers interesting answers in his “crazy” recital. He meanwhile couples that work with Clara Schumann’s Variations, Op. 20, which may have served as a model for her husband’s swan song. With his Piano Pieces in Fughetta Form, Armstrong will show that Schumann had pursued similarly crazy concepts before. And with works by Franz Liszt, he will showcase an eccentric piano artistry in which transgressions similarly abound.
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