Nikki Chooi

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Nikki Chooi
Birth nameNikki Chooi
Born (1989-01-31) January 31, 1989 (age 30)
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
LabelsAtoll Label
Associated actsThe Chooi Brothers

Nikki Chooi (born January 31, 1989) is a Canadian classical violinist. He is the winner of the 2013 Michael Hill International Violin Competition in New Zealand [1] and Laureate of the 2012 Queen Elisabeth Music Competition.[2] Nikki was a member of the cross-over ensemble, Time for Three, during the 2015/2016 season and subsequently served as Concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in New York for the 2016/2017 season.

Life and career[edit]

Nikki Chooi was born in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada to parents of Chinese descent. He began the violin at the age of four in the Suzuki method at the Victoria Conservatory of Music and at age nine, he became a protege of noted Canadian violinist, Sydney Humphreys.

In 2000, Chooi made his orchestral debut with the Victoria Symphony Orchestra and was subsequently invited to perform at the 2001 Victoria Symphony "Splash" held at the Victoria Inner Harbour for an audience of over 50,000 people.[3] That same year, aged twelve, he performed Haydn's Violin Concerto in C Major with the Sinfonia Toronto Orchestra at the Glenn Gould Studio, this was recorded and broadcast nationally by CBC Radio.

In 2003, he began studies with Bill van der Sloot at the Mount Royal Conservatory in Calgary, Canada. His summer studies included attending the Morningside Music Bridge and the Young Artist Programme at the National Arts Centre. Throughout high school, Chooi won First Prize at the 2004 Canadian National Music Festival, and a few months later he won the 2004 Montreal Standard Life Competition where he debuted with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Jacque Lacombe. In 2007, he was the awarded a "Special Prize" at International Tchaikovsky Competition held in Moscow, Russia.

Chooi attended the Curtis Institute of Music and the Juilliard School of Music. His mentors have included Ida Kavafian, Joseph Silverstein, and Donald Weilerstein. He has also worked closely with Pamela Frank, Steven Tenenbom, Shmuel Ashkenasi, Peter Wiley, and Pinchas Zukerman.

Over the years, Chooi has performed with orchestras in Canada and internationally such as the St Petersburg State Symphony, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic, Auckland Philharmonia, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie, and the National Orchestra of Belgium. As a recitalist, he has performed at the Vancouver Recital Series, Musica Viva Australia, Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall, Astral Artist Concert Series in Philadelphia, and the Harris Theatre of Chicago. His chamber music interests have taken him to perform at the Ravinia Music Festival, Chamber Music Northwest, the Dresden Music Festival, the Moritzburg Festival in Germany, the Marlboro Music Festival and he has toured with Musicians from Marlboro.

Nikki performs regularly with his violinist brother, Timothy Chooi.[4] Together, they have performed with the Edmonton Symphony, New Foundland Symphony, Malaysian Philharmonic and in recital at the Orford Centre for the Arts, Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, and the Mooredale Series in Toronto.

During the 2015-2016 season, Nikki was a member of the genre-breaking ensemble, Time for Three,[5] performing internationally with highlights in Barbados, Grand Teton, La Jolla SummerFest, and with the Hong Kong Philharmonic.


Nikki Chooi has received several prestigious awards over the years.

  • 2004 First Prize Winner of the Canadian National Music Festival, Charlottetown, Canada
    2004 First Prize Winner of the Canadian Music Competition, Toronto, Canada
    2004 First Prize Winner of the Montreal Standard Life Competition, Montreal, Canada
    2007 Special Prize at the 2007 International Tchaikovsky Competition [6]
    2008 Recipient of the Sylva Gelber Foundation Award
    2009 Recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts Music Instrument Bank Competition, Toronto, Canada [7]
    2009 First Prize Klein Competition, San Francisco, United States[8]
    2012 Laureate of the 2012 Queen Elisabeth Competition, Brussels, Belgium [9]
    2013 First Prize at the Michael Hill International Violin Competition[10]


  • 2014: Debut recording of works by Gershwin, Prokofiev, and Ravel (Atoll Label)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Nikki Chooi".
  2. ^ CBC Music. "CBC Music". Retrieved 2015-09-19.
  3. ^ "Victoria Symphony Canada - Splash Young Soloist".
  4. ^ "Virtuosi Violins". Jeunesses Musicales du Canada.
  5. ^ "A New Time for Time for Three and I!!". Nikki Chooi.
  6. ^ "The Southwest Florida Symphony Presents its new Summer Staycation℠ Concerts" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-09-19.
  7. ^ "Nikki Chooi - Violinist".
  8. ^ "Finalists Announced at American Klein String Competition". The Violin Channel - World's Leading Classical Music News Source. Est 2009.
  9. ^ "Much to love about competition". The New Zealand Herald.
  10. ^ CBC Music. "CBC Music".

External links[edit]