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Biography

Violinist Nigel Armstrong recently came to international attention as a finalist in the 14th Tchaikovsky International Competition, where he was the highest-ranked American prizewinner (Fourth Prize) as well as winner of the award for the commissioned work by renowned composer John Corigliano. Since then he has made debuts in Chicago, on the Chicago Symphony’s MusicNOW series with a performance of Corigliano’s Stomp, and Los Angeles, performing Mozart’s Violin Concerto #3 with the LA Chamber Orchestra. Jeffrey Kahane has described Nigel Armstrong as “one of many violinists with technique to burn ... but to find that depth of musicianship in a young person is very unusual.” (LA Times, January 19, 2012)


During the 2012/13 season, Mr. Armstrong appears as soloist with the Pacific Symphony (Mozart Concerto #5), the Santa Barbara Symphony (Vivaldi’s Four Seasons), the Stamford (CT) Symphony (Tchaikovsky Concerto) and he returns to the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra on their Baroque Conversations series leading a solo performance/lecture on the solo violin works of Bach.


Born in Sonoma, California, Mr. Armstrong made his solo debut at the age of 12 with the Baroque Sinfonia in Santa Rosa and has since performed concertos and showpieces with, among others, the Boston Pops and Norwegian Radio Orchestras; the St. Petersburg, Ft. Wayne, and Reno Philharmonic Orchestras; the Berkeley and Glacier Symphony Orchestras; the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, the Asociación de Profesores de la Orquesta Estable del Teatro Colón and the American Philharmonic - Sonoma County, with which he performed for two seasons. In 2011 Mr. Armstrong performed the Korngold Violin Concerto with Sir Neville Marriner conducting the Colburn Orchestra.


Nigel Armstrong has performed as a chamber musician at the Aspen, Encore, and Music@Menlo music festivals as well as at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara. As first violinist of the Peresson Quartet he has performed throughout the West Coast of the United States as well as in Montreal and Banff, Canada.


Mr. Armstrong has received numerous awards and prizes including silver-medal wins in the 2010 Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition, held in Oslo, Norway, and the First International Violin Competition in Buenos Aires, also held in 2010. In both competitions, he received additional prizes, including the Premio Tango in Buenos Aires and the Ole Bull and Nordheim awards in Oslo. In 2008, Armstrong received multiple prizes in the Corpus Christi International Competition, including the Howard Beebe String Award for Solo Bach Performance and the Jean Ten Have Award for Violin Performance.


In February 2012 Mr. Armstrong was profiled in Musical America Magazine as their "Young Artist of the Month." Additionally, Mr. Armstrong was profiled in the cover story of the January/February 2007 issue of Teen Strings. He has made an appearance on NPR's acclaimed radio program "From the Top" and is a frequent guest on "Curtain Call with Charles Sepos" on KRCB 91 FM Sonoma County Public Radio.


Though classical music is Mr. Armstrong's passion he also enjoys exploring different traditions of musical expression such as jazz, fiddle, and tango. In 2000, at the age of 9, he was the recipient of the 2nd prize in the Cloverdale Annual Old Time Fiddle Contest's Waltz Division and in 2008 he performed an arrangement of Johnny Cash's Orange Blossom Special with the Bozeman Symphony. During a recent recital tour of Argentina he performed a program of jazz and tango arrangements alongside more traditional classical works.


A graduate of The Colburn School Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Robert Lipsett, Mr. Armstrong is currently in the Diploma program at the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studies with Arnold Steinhardt and Shmuel Ashkenasi. Past teachers include Zaven Melikian, Li Lin, and Donald Weilerstein.


April 2012

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