Born in 1992 in Los Angeles, Armstrong studied at the Curtis Institute of Music and at the Royal Academy of Music in London. At 7, he started studying composition at Chapman University and physics at California State University, later also chemistry and mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania and mathematics at the Imperial College London. He earned a master’s degree in pure mathematics at the University of Paris VI. Alfred Brendel, who has guided Armstrong as teacher and mentor since 2005, ascribes to him “an understanding of the great piano works that combines freshness and subtlety, emotion and intellect”. Their relationship was captured in the film Set the Piano Stool on Fire by Mark Kidel.
Described by the New York Times as a “brilliant pianist” who combines “musical maturity and youthful daring in his exceptional playing”, Kit Armstrong performs as a soloist with some of the world’s finest orchestras, including the Vienna Philharmonic, Dresden Staatskapelle, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Gewandhaus Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields.
He appears at major international venues such as the Vienna Musikverein, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Berlin Philharmonie, Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, NHK Hall Tokyo and Palais des Beaux-Arts Brussels and collaborates with many of the world’s most sought-after conductors, including among others Christian Thielemann, Herbert Blomstedt, Riccardo Chailly, Kent Nagano, Manfred Honeck, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Mario Venzago, and Robin Ticciati.
He was artist-in-residence at the 2018 festival edition of Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and “Artist-in-Resonance” at Musikkollegium Winterthur, among other prestigious festivals, orchestras and concert halls.
In recent seasons Kit Armstrong performed with the DSO Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, Musikkollegium Winterthur, Frankfurt Museum Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra while maintaining an active career as a recitalist and composer. Recent solo recitals brought him to the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Munich Prinzregententheater, Klavierfestival Ruhr, Philharmonie de Luxembourg and Cologne Philharmonie.
He has been touring Europe with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra and with his long-standing partners of Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, one of the world’s leading early music ensembles.