Praised by critics for his passionate expression and dazzling technique, pianist Andrew Armstrong has delighted audiences across Asia, Europe, Latin America, Canada, and the United States, including performances at Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, and Warsaw's National Philharmonic. Andrew’s orchestral engagements across the globe have seen him perform a sprawling repertoire of more than 50 concertos with orchestra. He has performed with such conductors as Peter Oundjian, Itzhak Perlman, Günther Herbig, Stefan Sanderling, Jean-Marie Zeitouni, and Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, and has appeared in solo recitals in chamber music concerts with the Elias, Alexander, American, and Manhattan String Quartets, and also as a member of the Caramoor Virtuosi, Boston Chamber Music Society, Seattle Chamber Music Society, and the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players. The 2019-2020 Season takes Andrew across the globe with concerts in London, Glasgow, Amsterdam, Bergen, Dresden, Copenhagen, Prague, and across the US, Canada, and Australia. Also this season, Andrew and violinist James Ehnes team up to release the complete cycle of 10 Beethoven Violin Sonatas to celebrate the master’s 250th birthday in 2020. The duo performs the cycle in cities around the world this year. On top of his performance activities, Andrew serves as Artistic Director of Columbia Museum of Art’s Chamber Music on Main series in South Carolina, and enters his third year as Director of the Chamber Music Camp at Wisconsin’s Green Lake Festival of Music.
Andrew’s debut solo CD featuring was released to great critical acclaim: “I have heard few pianists play [Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Sonata], recorded or in concert, with such dazzling clarity and confidence” (American Record Guide). He followed that success with a disc on Cordelia Records of works by Chopin, Liszt, Debussy, and the world premiere recording of Bielawa's Wait for piano & drone. He has released several award-winning recordings with his longtime recital partner James Ehnes -- most recently Beethoven’s Sonatas Nos. 4, 5, & 8, to stellar reviews. Andrew is devoted to outreach programs and playing for children. In addition to his many concerts, his performances are heard regularly on National Public Radio and WQXR, New York City's premier classical music station. Mr. Armstrong lives happily in Massachusetts, with his wife Esty, their three children Jack (14), Elise (9), and Gabriel (2), and their two dogs Comet & Dooker.
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June 18, 2019 - Montréal, Quebec
"... kaleidoscopic piano playing..."
"The Beethoven they revealed through their commitment to communicating the essence of the music through sublime playing scrupulously following a comprehensive understanding of the score created an unstoppable and organic narrative flow that had the audience riveted to every note. It was an emotionally complex Beethoven they revealed, full of love and rage, all in a very modern way."
"The freshness and spontaneity of these interpretations is unfaltering, as is the instantaneous rapport and subtle, crystal-clear tonal beauty of the pair’s playing. They lean into the Andante of No 1 in a way that allows both grace and a lilting sense of momentum, and launch Op 12 No 2 as if in medias res: with a dancing scherzo-like swing in which Armstrong’s left hand manages to provide both a rhythmic springboard for his partner’s phrasing and a frequently droll punchline to Beethoven’s youthful witticisms. These are, after all, ‘Sonatas for Pianoforte and Violin’ – a paradox that I’ve rarely heard so masterfully resolved on modern instruments. These players are simply on the same page as each other. The slow movements of Nos 2 and 3 are simultaneously intimate and pregnant with a sense of greater things; and the central tempest of No 3’s first movement is handled without any loss either of tension or clarity. The variations on ‘Se vuol ballare’, deliciously played, make an irresistibly playful encore to a disc which should give all but the most humourless of listeners consistent and unqualified delight."
June 29, 2018 - Rockport, MA
"...Ehnes and Armstrong took a nuanced approach, bringing smooth, tender lyricism and bold agitation into readings of firm direction and momentum."
"...At the keyboard, Armstrong’s phrases were pristine, each passage imbued with subtle weight..."
The Arts Desk
"Armstrong has a musical personality to match the heavyweight Russians, producing an enormous sound when necessary, but always rounded, and always fine-tuned to the needs of his duo partner in flawless synchronicity."
Jonathan A. Neufeld
"Pianist Andrew Armstrong's Bartók [3rd Piano Concerto] sparkled and swayed... Armstrong leaned into the almost jazzy-sounding syncopations, popping the accented rhythms with a verve and a bright tone. Soloist and orchestra were extremely well matched. The second movement, Adagio religioso, again allowed Herbig and the orchestra to show textural delicacy as Armstrong made the most of sparse, shifting chords. The amount of expression that Armstrong is able to draw out of the material is remarkable."