Kit Armstrong is 20 years old and has performed with several orchestras and chamber groups.
He is also a composer and at ten years had written more than fifteen works. Many of them and subsequent compositions have been premiered by several European ensembles. Born in America of British and Taiwanese parents, he has studied at the Curtis Institute of Music, the Royal Academy of Music and the Imperial College in London. He has also studied science, his studies including pure mathematics at the Pierre and Marie Curie University.
Such accomplishment in such a small frame at so young an age is almost alarming, but at the Colston Hall his playing of Schumann’s Piano Concerto was sensitive, secure and utterly brilliant. We went as wild with enthusiasm as a polite Bristol audience can be. An important part of his life and development has been his relationship to Alfred Brendel, his mentor and friend.
I have bought a DVD ‘Set the Piano Stool on Fire’, which tells the story of how the young prodigy and the old master have made music together – as the blurb says ‘a fascinating portrait of the creative process’. It’s a process which is surely going to become a long-time feature of the international concert scene.
He began to read music in Braille when he was seven years old, but learning music in Braille is laborious. Now he practices from a recording of a volunteer reading aloud every musical note in a piece. He too is a composer.