Our VCM Jubilee Tribute Concert features violinist Nikki Chooi, pianist Miranda Wong, and soprano Sarah Vardy, all VCM alumni. The musical genius of these three artists will transport us on an evening’s journey through unforgettable classics to amazing modern works. Get Tickets for Nov 1st
Jubilee Tribute Concert • Saturday, November 1, 2014 – 7:30pm
Violinist Nikki Chooi, pianist Miranda Wong, and soprano Sarah Vardy, all VCM alumni, pay tribute to music as an ever-evolving art form. The musical genius of these three artists will transport us on an evening’s journey through unforgettable classics to amazing modern works.
“Chooi is a model of taste and tonal refinement”
“vigorous and colorful” (New York Times)
Rarely do audiences have the chance to hear a collection of such wonderfully exciting instrumental works and celebrated opera arias, as will be performed by celebrated alumni of the VCM at the Jubilee Tribute concert November 1st. Renowned pianist Miranda Wong opens the evening with J.S. Bach’s all-time favourite, the Italian Concerto, only to be followed by one of the infamous Eugène Ysaÿe solo violin sonatas, performed by the equally infamous violinist Nikki Chooi. Nikki will be performing on a very rare and special violin, heard for the first time on the VCM’s Alix Goolden Performance Hall stage: the “Taft”, a 1700 Stradivari violin, valued at $5 million, on generous loan to Nikki from the Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank. The first half of the evening will be crowned by three passionate arias, including “D’amor sull’ali rose” from Verdi’s il Trovatore, sung by rising star soprano Sarah Vardy, and accompanied by VCM’s own Robert Holliston.
The second half of the evening evokes even more passion as Miranda Wong performs Ravel’s “Pavane pour une infante défunte” and “Jeux d’Eau”, followed by Sarah Vardy’s performance of magnificent Puccini arias from Madama Butterfly, Tosca, and Turandot! To top off this incredible evening, Nikki Chooi, accompanied by Robert Holliston, will perform the “Suite Populaire Espagnole”, and Jascha Heifetz’s arrangement of George Gershwin’s Three Preludes. Join us for this very special evening of passionate music!
Nikki Chooi Biography
Canadian violinist, Nikki Chooi has been described as, “a model of taste and tonal
refinement” (Boston Globe) and “vigorous and colorful” (New York Times).
The First Prize Winner of the 2013 Michael Hill International Violin Competition and a Laureate of the 2012 Queen Elisabeth International Violin Competition, his many engagements have included performances as soloist with the Victoria Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony, Edmonton Symphony, Santa Cruz Symphony, National Orchestra of Belgium, Malaysian Philharmonic, and the Auckland Philharmonia.
His recital engagements have taken him to the Vancouver Recital Series, Debut Atlantic Recital Tour, Canadian National Arts Debut Series, Chicago’s Dame Myra Hess Series, La Monnai “Concertini” in Belgium, Chamber Music New Zealand, and Australia’s Musica Viva Series.
An avid chamber musician as well, Nikki has performed in many international festivals including the Marlboro Music Festival, the Ravinia Festival, the Dresden Music Festival in Germany, the Moritzburg Festival, the Ottawa Chamber Festival, and the Montreal Chamber Fest. In the 2014-2015 season, he will be touring with Musicians from Marlboro.
Nikki gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, CBC Radio, the Sylva Gelber Foundation, and the Victoria Foundation. He uses the 1700 “Taft” Stradivari on generous loan from the Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank.
Miranda Wong received her training from such renowned pianists and pedagogues as Robin Wood, Leon Fleisher, Leonard Shure, Ellen Mack, and Berl Senofsky. She earned her Bachelor of Music from the University of Victoria where she distinguished herself not only as the Top Graduate of the Music Faculty, but also as the Head of the Graduating Class of the entire university. Grants from the Canada Council enabled further studies in London, England, where she was awarded the Piano Performance Certificate from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Graduate work, again under full scholarship, earned her the Master of Music degree from the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University.
As solo recitalist, chamber musician, and teacher, Ms. Wong is equally at home with the music of the traditional classical repertoire as well as with the esoteric complexities of the contemporary idiom. Her solo career has taken her to stages across Canada, the United States, and Europe. She has also performed and recorded on many occasions for CBC Radio.
A vitally important focus in Ms. Wong’s present commitments rests in her role as the pianist of Aventa, a chamber ensemble renowned for its vision and innovative programming in the contemporary music scene. Appearances across North America (including those at the Montreal New Music Festival; the Roulette in New York; Music Gallery and Gallery 345 in Toronto) and Europe (including Copenhagen’s Athelas Festival and Munich’s A-DEvantgarde Festival), augmented by frequent presentations of world premiers (most recently and notably the Trio for Horn, Violin, and Piano by the eminent British composer, Peter Maxwell Davies) reflect the scope and range of these performance activities.
Currently, Miranda Wong serves on the faculty of the University of British Columbia School of Music and the Douglas College Department of Music.