About
Simon Darby

Canadian Violinist, Nikki Chooi has been described as “richly expressive and technically assured” (Calgary Herald) and “vigorous and colorful” (New York Times).

Appointed by Maestro James Levine, Nikki currently serves as Concermaster of New York's Metropolitan Opera Orchestra for the 2016-2017 season.

During the 2015-2016 season, Nikki was a member of the genre-breaking ensemble, Time for Three, performing internationally with highlights in Barbados, Grand Teton, La Jolla SummerFest, and with the Hong Kong Philharmonic.

Nikki is a First Prize Winner of the 2013 Michael Hill Internationaly Violin Competition and the 2009 Klein International Competition, a Laureate of the 2012 Queen Elisabeth Violin Competition, and a winner of the 2013 Astral Artists' Auditions.

His Concerto Engagements in recent years have included performing with the Victoria Symphony, the Edmonton Symphony, National Orchestra of Belgium, Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie, the Peninsula Symphony, the Santa Cruz Symphony, the Winnipeg Symphony, the Calgary Philharmonic, the West Virginia Symphony, the Louisville Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic, the Auckland Philharmonia, and the St.Petersburg State Symphony in Russia.

His Recital Engagements have included: the Vancouver Recital Series, Debut Atlantic Canada Recital Tour, Canadian National Arts Debut Series, Caramoor Rising Stars Series in New York, Chamber Music Tulsa, Dame Myra Hess Series in Chicago, La Monnai "Concertini" in Belgium, Chicago’s Harris Theatre, Australia's Musica Viva, and Carnegie’s Zankel Hall.

Passionate in Chamber Music as well, Nikki has performed in many international festivals including the Marlboro Music Festival, the Ravinia Festival, the Dresden Music Festival in Germany, Montreal Chamber Fest, Chamber Music Northwest, Napa Valley’s Music from the Vineyards, and Music from Angel Fire. He has collaborated in performances with Pamela Frank, Gary Graffman, Kim Kashkashian and with members of the Guarneri String Quartet, Juilliard String Quartet, Vermeer String Quartet, Orion String Quartet. In 2009, Nikki was a core member of the Curtis on Tour to Europe ensemble performing with Roberto Diaz and Robert MacDonald and in 2014, he toured with Musicians from Marlboro. He frequently performs with his violinist brother, Timothy Chooi.

Nikki gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, CBC Radio, the Sylva Gelber Foundation, and the Victoria Foundation.

 

Background:

Nikki was born in 1989 to parents of Chinese descent in Victoria, British Columbia. He began his studies at the Victoria Conservatory of Music where at age 9, he became a protege of Sydney Humphreys. He is a graduate of the Mount Royal Conservatory under Bill van der Sloot, and received his undergraduate degree at the Curtis Institute of Music, and recently completed his studies at the Juilliard School with Ida Kavafian, Joseph Silverstein, and Donald Weilerstein. In 2004, he came to national attention as the Grand Award winner of the Canadian National Music Festival and the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal Standard Life Competition.

 

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