Timothy Chooi has had a big year. After securing first place at the 2018 Joseph Joachim Competition in Hannover, Germany Chooi launched his performing career in Europe with a debut with NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester in Hannover. He toured with the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra across Belgium while also performing in Poland, South Korea and his native Canada.
Chooi took up the violin when he was three years old. His older brother, Nikki, played the instrument (and has his own impressive career) and the younger Chooi wanted to do whatever his older brother was doing, as younger brothers tend to do. The pair perform as the duo The Chooi Brothers.
During his big year of competitions and debuts, Chooi has crafted his performance-day ritual.
“When I am at competitions, I need to have a room and be alone to practice, rest, focus and to have a structured day. I need the peace and quiet to calm but also sharpen my mind. It’s a psychological war when one goes on stage to compete at a competition,” Chooi writes over email.
Chooi names Sibelius’ Violin Concerto as one of his favourite pieces to perform. He has been working on perfecting his performance of it for more than a decade saying he finds new elements the more he plays the work.
Though as a musician he has been to some unique places and worked with countless talented artists, the violin virtuoso finds himself drawing artistic inspiration and energy from the most “normal” parts of his life.
“Strolling through daily life, down the street, waking up, talking on the phone with my family or friends, going to the supermarket, etc. All of these “normal” experiences add a layer of depth of my understanding of the world and put my perspective into focus when I’m working on my music,” he said.
Only in his mid-twenties, Chooi still has a long career ahead of him. Currently described as a “rising star” it is very likely that orchestral music enthusiasts will continue to see his name alongside some of the world’s best orchestras in future years.
Chooi makes his HPO debut at Mozart & Mendelssohn October 19 performing the solo on Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5, conducted by our Music Director Gemma New.