Nikki Chooi, Violin
Praised for his passionate and poetic performances, internationally acclaimed violinist Nikki Chooi has established himself as an artist of rare versatility. Described as “expressive, enchanting, and transcendent,” Nikki has received prizes at the Queen Elizabeth and Tchaikovsky Competitions, and was 1st Prize Winner of the Montreal Symphony’s ManuLife Competition, the Klein International Strings Competition and the Michael Hill International Violin Competition.
Nikki has received critical acclaim in recent engagements at the Harris Theater in Chicago, Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, Carnegie Hall and Kauffman Center in New York, Koerner Hall in Toronto and Place des Arts in Montreal. He has appeared as soloist with orchestras across Canada and internationally with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Louisiana Philharmonic, St. Petersburg State Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Wallonie, National Orchestra of Belgium, Auckland Philharmonia, Malaysian Philharmonic and Hong Kong Philharmonic.
Festival appearances include the Marlboro Festival, Ravinia Festival, Rockport Chamber Music Festival, La Jolla Summerfest, Vancouver Recital Series, Moritzburg Festival, Kammermusik Utrecht, Dresden Music Festival, Olympus Festival in Russia, Chamber Music New Zealand and Fundación Beethoven in Chile. His many collaborators have included Jan Vogler, Inon Barnatan, Desmond Hoebig, Kim Kashkashian, David Shifrin, Anthony Marwood and members of the Guarneri and Juilliard String Quartets. Nikki was previously a member of the multi-genre ensemble Time for Three, which collaborated with From the Top and Universal Music, releasing an arrangement of Taylor Swift’s Shake it Off to record-breaking views on YouTube.
As Concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra during the 2016-2017 season, Nikki worked closely with singers and conductors including Renee Fleming, Susanna Phillips, Elīna Garanča, Eric Owens, Fabio Luisi and Esa-Pekka Salonen. His 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. Nikki has appeared as guest concertmaster with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Houston Symphony and Sydney Symphony, and is currently Concertmaster of the Grammy-award winning Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.
A passionate educator, Nikki is currently on the violin faculty at the University of Ottawa and has presented master classes at the San Francisco Conservatory, Morningside Music Program at the New England 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, 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.
In 2015, Nikki released his debut album of works by Prokofiev, Ravel and Gershwin on the Atoll Label.