Andrew J. Groveman
Belz Enterprises

Katie Wassmer
Thompson & Berry


Thirteen-Year-Old Pianist to Display Musical Prowess During Artists Ascending Concert

MEMPHIS, Tennessee, November 7, 2005 – Kit Armstrong, an accomplished 13-year-old pianist and composer, will be the first featured performer in the 2005-2006 Artists Ascending Series. Armstrong will give a free concert to the public on Sunday, November 27, 2005 at 3:00 p.m. in the Belz Auditorium at Baron Hirsch Congregation, 400 South Yates.

Each year, the Artists Ascending Series features some of the best up-and-coming musicians from around the world. All concerts are free and no tickets or reservations are necessary.

“This is a performance that classical music lovers will not want to miss,” says Dr. Joe Parker, who co-founded the series with the late Philip Belz in 1966. “Kit’s musical talents are incredible, and seeing him in such an intimate setting will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many Memphians.”

By the time he was five years old, Armstrong had begun to compose on a daily basis, and quickly moved beyond the knowledge his neighborhood piano teachers were able to offer. Today, he studies with Benjamin Kaplan at the prestigious Royal Academy of Music and Imperial College in London, England.

Armstrong has appeared as a soloist with many orchestras and made his concert debut at the age of eight. While attending college, he has performed at the Steinway and Sons’ Anniversary Concert at Carnegie Hall, and he was invited to perform at the Classical Music Luncheon of the 44th Annual Grammy awards, honoring Van Cliburn in 2001.

Armstrong performances include appearances on national television during “The Late Show with David Letterman” and as a guest musician on “Hour of Power” at the Crystal Cathedral.

In addition to his extensive performance achievements, Armstrong is an accomplished composer. His compositions consist of pieces for the piano as well as strings including a viola sonata, three string quartets, a piano quartet and quintet, wind quintet, two piano concertos and a cello concerto. At the age of seven, Armstrong composed a symphony that was premiered by the Pacific Symphony Orchestra. He has been awarded the Morton Gould Young Composer Award for four consecutive years.

Although Armstrong’s primary interest is in music, he displays a similar affinity for mathematics, science and language arts. He is able to speak Russian, German, English, Chinese and Taiwanese, and at the age of nine he began full-time studies at Utah State University.

For more than 35 years, the Artists Ascending Concert Series has brought some of the world’s most promising young classical musicians from around the world to Memphis to showcase their blossoming talents. Notable performers have included violinist Itzhak Perlman, conductor Daniel Barenboim, pianist Misha Dichter and violinist Gil Shaham – all of whom have gone on to achieve worldwide acclaim.

Sponsored by the Belz family, Dr. Joe Parker and Belz Enterprises, the Artists Ascending Series is free to the public.

About Belz

Headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, Belz is a leading innovator in real estate development with interests throughout the Southern United States. Belz develops, owns and/or manages more than 25 million square feet of industrial/warehouse/distribution centers, shopping centers, office buildings, mixed-use centers and corporate campuses. The company also owns a group of premier hotels, including The Peabody Hotels in Memphis, Orlando and Little Rock. Additional information about Belz is available at