Kit Armstrong

March 5, 1992 - California (United States)

Kit Armstrong is a pianist and composer who also displays remarkable gifts in mathematics, science, and languages. At the age of five, he began formal composition and piano studies. At seven, he became the youngest scholarship student in the history of Chapman University in California, attending the university part-time while completing high school. Two years later, he became a full-time undergraduate student, studying music and science. He now studies piano with Alfred Brendel and Benjamin Kaplan, and reads music at the Royal Academy of Music and mathematics at the Imperial College in London, England. He participated in the Summer Program in Analysis and Geometry at Princeton University in 2006, and Research Science Institute at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2007. Whilst attending college, Kit has given a number of performances; among the most notable are the Steinway and Sons’ Anniversary concert at Carnegie Hall, and the Classical Music Luncheon of the 44th Annual Grammy Awards honouring Van Cliburn.

He has appeared as soloist with numerous orchestras, having made his concerto debut at the age of eight. In 2005, he performed Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 1, conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras; in 2007, he played Mozart Piano Concerto No. 20 with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Bobby McFerrin. Kit’s piano repertoire encompasses a wide range of composers including Book I of Bach’s Well-Tempered, all 18 Mozart Piano Sonatas, 13 Beethoven Piano Sonatas, as well as works by Haydn, Schubert, Chopin, Schumann, Liszt, Brahms, Debussy, and Ravel. His concerto repertoire includes works by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Schumann, and Bartok. As a composer, Kit has written in various styles. His compositions include numerous pieces for solo piano, a viola sonata, three string quartets, a piano quartet, two piano quintets, a wind quintet, a piano concerto, and a symphony. This symphony, Celebration, composed at the age of seven, was premiered by the Pacific Symphony Orchestra. In addition to winning a number of state competitions, he has been awarded the Morton Gould Young Composer Award for five consecutive years. Struwwelpeter, a suite for viola and piano, won the prestigious Charlotte V. Bergen Scholarship, awarded to the top recipient among composers age 18 or younger.