In the 2016-2017 season, Canadian violinist Nikki Chooi served as Concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in New York. During the 2015-2016 season, he was a member of the genre-defying Astral laureate ensemble Time for Three. With the string trio, he performed with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Sun Valley Summer Concerts, La Jolla Music Society, and many other significant ensembles across the U.S.
Mr. Chooi has been described as “a model of taste and tonal refinement” (The Boston Globe) and “vigorous and colorful” by (The New York Times). As the First Prize winner of New Zealand’s 2013 Michael Hill International Violin Competition, he gave an extensive recital tour with Chamber Music New Zealand, performed with the Auckland Philharmonia, appeared on Australia’s Musica Viva series, and recorded his debut CD for the Atoll label. He came to national attention in 2004 as the Grand Award winner of both the Canadian National Music Festival and the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal Standard Life Competition. A winner of Astral’s 2013 National Auditions, Mr. Chooi is also a laureate of the 2012 Queen Elisabeth Violin Competition, the First Prize winner of the 2009 Irving M. Klein International String Competition, and the recipient of a Canada Council Emerging Artists Grant.
Recently, Mr. Chooi was soloist with the Edmonton Symphony, Symphony in C, Thunder Bay Symphony, and Huntsville Symphony, performing concertos by Barber, Brahms, Mozart, and Sibelius. Other appearances include performances at the Ottawa Chamber Fest, Germany’s Moritzburg Festival, Chicago’s Harris Theatre, a tour with “Musicians from Marlboro,” and engagements with the Winnipeg Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, Louisville Orchestra, and Orchestre Symphonique de Laval. He has also appeared as soloist with the Malaysian Philharmonic and the St. Petersburg State Symphony at Russia’s Musical Olympus Festival, and was concerto soloist with the Victoria Symphony, the National Orchestra of Belgium, Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie, the Peninsula Symphony, Santa Cruz Symphony, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, and l’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal. He has given recitals for the Vancouver Recital Series, the Canadian National Arts debut series, Caramoor’s Rising Stars series, Chamber Music Tulsa, Chicago’s Dame Myra Hess series, and La Monnai “Concertini” in Belgium.
An avid chamber musician, Mr. Chooi has appeared at many international festivals including Marlboro Music, the
Ravinia Festival, the Dresden Music Festival, Montreal Chamber Fest, Napa Valley’s Music from the Vineyards, and Music
from Angel Fire. He has collaborated with such artists as Pamela Frank, Gary Graffman, Kim Kashkashian, and members
of the Guarneri, Juilliard, Vermeer, and Orion string quartets. In 2009, he was a member of “Curtis On Tour,”
performing with Roberto Díaz and Robert MacDonald throughout Europe.
Mr. Chooi was born in Victoria, British Columbia. He began his studies at the Victoria Conservatory of Music where, at age 9, he became a protégé of Sydney Humphreys. He is a graduate of the Mount Royal Conservatory and received an undergraduate degree from the Curtis Institute of Music. He recently completed studies at The Juilliard School, under Ida Kavafian and Donald Weilerstein.
Nikki gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, CBC Radio, the Sylva Gelber Foundation, and the Victoria Foundation.
Nikki Chooi appears courtesy of Astral Artists.
Lakes Area Music Festival
715 Laurel Street
Brainerd MN 56401
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