Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Colburn School Student Triumphs at International Tchaikovsky Competition

It was announced today that The Colburn School Conservatory of Music graduate Nigel Armstrong (class of 2011) was the highest placed American at the prestigious XIV International Tchaikovsky Competition. Armstrong, who has studied at the Colburn School for four years, came in fourth position, taking the $7,250 prize. [No first prize was awarded in the violin division this year].

In what is the musical equivalent of the Olympics, Armstrong won the special prize and $3,000 for his performance of the commissioned work, John Corigliano's STOMP.

Sel Kardan, The Colburn School President and CEO, said:

"The Colburn School is very proud of Nigel's international success and achievement at the prestigious Tchaikovsky Competition. His dedication and talent have now been recognized at the highest level possible. Nigel's success is a credit to our esteemed faculty Robert Lipsett, our new Conservatory of Music (founded 2003), and our founder Richard D. Colburn. It was Colburn's vision to establish a west coast conservatory that would contribute to classical music world-wide. Along with the recent successes of two of our quartets that won the Grand, Gold and Bronze Prizes at the Fischoff Competition, and our Academy student who took the Gold at the
Irving M. Klein Competition, we have more than honored that dream. Nigel's success is a great achievement for him personally, for The Colburn School and for America."

Nigel Armstrong said: "I'm truly honored and thankful to have made it into this level of the competition and thrilled to have been awarded the special prize for performance of John Corigliano's STOMP. I'd like to give a special thank you to my teacher, Robert Lipsett, and to all the faculty of the Colburn School for their inestimable dedication and guidance."

For the past four years, Armstrong has studied at the Conservatory of Music at The Colburn School, which is a world class performing arts school located in the heart of art in downtown

Los Angeles. In May 2011, Nigel earned his Bachelor of Music degree from the conservatory, where he studied with Robert Lipsett. He came to international attention with his silver-medal wins in the 2010 Menuhim Competition's Senior Division and the First International Violin Competition of Buenos Aires. In both competitions he received additional prizes, including the "Premio Tango" in Buenos Aires. Since his solo debut with the Baroque Sinfonia, Mr. Armstrong has performed concerti and showpieces with the Boston Pops Orchestra, the Asociación de Profesores de la Orquesta Estable del Teatro Colón, the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, the Bozeman Symphony, the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra, the Downey Symphony Orchestra, and the American Philharmonic of Sonoma County, with which he performed during two seasons.

About The Colburn School:
The Colburn School's acclaimed faculty provides students with the highest quality performing arts education with a multitude of performance opportunities in a state-of-the-art facility. Every student accepted into the conservatory receives free tuition, room and board, which allows students to focus exclusively on their musicianship. Recently, Nigel's peers had a double success at the 2011 Fischoff Competition. The Calidore String Quartet won the competition's grand prize and the gold medal in the senior string division, while the Persinger Quartet won the bronze medal in the senior string division. Additionally, sixteen year-old Academy student Mayumi Kanagawa, a fellow student of Robert Lipsett, won the 26th annual Irving M. Klein International String Competition earlier this month.

More than 2000 students attend classes in The Colburn Schools four divisions - the Conservatory of Music, the School of Performing Arts, the Trudl Zipper Dance Institute and the Academy. Colburn students from all the divisions perform over 300 free public concerts and recitals each year and engage in extensive outreach initiatives in LAUSD schools. For more information about The Colburn School and its programs, visit our website at

About The Tchaikovsky Competition:
The International Tchaikovsky Competition, held once every four years, is not only a valuable asset of Russian musical culture but is also one of the major events in the international music community.


More Hot Stories For You