Biography

Den Sweeney

Praised for his powerful and poetic performances, internationally-acclaimed violinist Nikki Chooi has established himself as an artist of rare versatility. Gramophone stated he performed with “total conviction and assurance.” Nikki is a Laureate of the Queen Elizabeth and Tchaikovsky Competitions, and was awarded 1st Prize Winner at the Montreal Symphony's ManuLife Competition, the Klein International Strings Competition, and the Michael Hill International Violin Competition.

Nikki is currently Concertmaster of the Grammy-award winning Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra under Music Director JoAnn Falletta. Highly in demand as a guest concertmaster, he has performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Houston Symphony, Sydney Symphony, and Macao Orchestra. Previously Concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Nikki's solos can be heard through The Met: Live in HD broadcasts in productions of Verdi’s La Traviata, Janacek’s Jenufa, and the Grammy-nominated recording of Strauss’ Rosenkavalier released on the Decca Label.

In 2022-2023, Nikki made critically-acclaimed debuts at Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium as soloist with the Buffalo Philharmonic and at Lincoln Center's Rose Hall with Orchestra NOW. He was also featured soloist with the Vancouver Symphony, Puerto Rico Symphony, National Taiwan Symphony Festival Orchestra, Santa Fe Symphony, Hamilton Philharmonic, and Manitoba Chamber Orchestra. In past seasons, he has appeared as soloist with orchestras across Canada and internationally including the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Victoria Symphony Orchestra, Louisiana Philharmonic, Chamber Orchestra of Wallonie, National Orchestra of Belgium, Auckland Philharmonia, Malaysian Philharmonic, and Hong Kong Philharmonic.

Nikki has been featured at many international festivals with performances at the Marlboro Festival, Ravinia Festival, Rockport Chamber Music Festival, La Jolla Summerfest, Brevard Music Center, Vancouver Recital Series, Moritzburg Festival, Kammermusik Utrecht, Dresden Music Festival, Chamber Music New Zealand, and Fundación Beethoven in Chile. Additionally, Nikki has collaborated with esteemed artists including Yo-Yo Ma, Renne Fleming, Eric Owens, and Time for Three. A passionate educator, Nikki has presented masterclasses at the Morningside Music Program at the New England Conservatory, San Francisco Conservatory, Orchestra of the Americas Academy, Sphinx Academy at the Curtis Institute of Music, Hong Kong Cultural Center, and the University of Auckland.

Nikki began his studies at the Victoria Conservatory, Mount Royal Conservatory, Morningside Music Bridge, and at the National Arts Centre Young Artist Programme. He completed his formal studies at the Curtis Institute and the Juilliard School under the mentorship of Joseph Silverstein, Ida Kavafian, and Donald Weilerstein

He has recorded for Naxos, Beau Fleuve, Atoll, and Decca labels. Nikki performs on a 1713 Stradivarius courtesy of CANIMEX INC. from Drummondville, Quebec, Canada, a 1749 G.B Guadagnini on extended loan through the Stradivari Society of Chicago, and a 2016 Joseph Curtin. Nikki proudly endorses Thomastik-Infeld strings.