"musical intelligence and interpretive understanding of a high order"
Sam received an outstanding review of his Wigmore Hall solo recital from Musical Opinion:
"Sam Armstrong's programme at Wigmore Hall on July 1 would have challenged any artist, and it is a tribute to the quality of this young pianist that he emerged triumphant. He is clearly a pianist's pianist, in that the intelligent construction of his programme led the attentive listener on a journey that culminated in Schubert's great B flat major Sonata in a reading that was deeply impressive--never hurrying, but never dawdling either: this was a performance such as would have satisfied any Schubertian.
"Some such concluding item was necessary after a first half that began with two legendary Bach transcriptions, by Egon Petri and Ferruccio Busoni, which in turn led to Janacek's 'I.X.1905' Sonata. Here were musical intelligence and interpretive understanding of a high order, the connections between Bach (via his transcribers) and Janacek being made clear through Armstrong's admirable playing, carried over and back in this programme, by way of Brahms's 1878 Klavierstücke Opus 76, to the immortal Schubert.
"Armstrong's credentials are impressive, but it is as an interpretive musician that he made the bigger impact: any pianist who could plan and bring off a programme such as this clearly is one to watch, and those of the pianistic cognoscenti who attended this recital will need no second bidding to follow his future career with great interest."
– James Palmer, Musical Opinion