Biography

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 is a recipient of prizes at the Queen Elizabeth and Tchaikovsky Competitions, and was awarded 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, Place des Arts in Montreal, as well as appearing 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.

Nikki has been featured at many international festivals with performances at 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. Previously a member of the multi-genre ensemble, Time for Three, the group 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 in 2016-2017, 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, 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 University of Ottawa and has presented masterclasses 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

He released his debut album of works by Prokofiev, Ravel, and Gershwin on the Atoll Label.