A Masterclass gives students an invaluable opportunity to benefit from the knowledge and experience top musicians.
Music lovers from the public are invited to observe two special violin and chamber masterclasses for Collegium students with VCM Alum Nikki Chooi and Timothy Chooi on Monday, September 16th , 2019 at 5pm.
Canadian violinist Nikki Chooi, praised for his passionate and poetic performances, has established himself as an artist of rare versatility. Described as “vigorous, colorful” by the New York Times, he has received critical acclaim in recent engagements at the Harris Theatre in Chicago, Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, Carnegie Hall and Kauffman Center in New York, Koerner Hall in Toronto, Place des Arts and Salle Bourgie in Montreal, as well as appearing as soloist with orchestras across Canada including the Montréal Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, Edmonton Symphony, and internationally with the St. Petersburg State Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Wallonie, National Orchestra of Belgium, Auckland Philharmonia, Malaysian Philharmonic, and Hong Kong Philharmonic. He has been featured at many international festivals with performances at the Marlboro Festival, Ravinia Festival, La Jolla Summerfest, Vancouver Recital Series, Moritzburg Festival, Kammermusik Utrecht, Dresden Music Festival, Olympus Festival in Russia, and Fundación Beethoven in Chile.
Nikki has also delved into the orchestral repertoire, having served as Concertmaster of New York’s Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in 2016/2017 while working closely with singers and conductors including Renee Fleming, 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. He has also appeared as Guest Concertmaster with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Sydney Symphony, and Houston Symphony. In 2019, Nikki was appointed Concertmaster of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.
A passionate educator, Nikki has presented masterclasses at the San Francisco Conservatory, Morningside Music Program at the New England Conservatory, Sphinx Academy at the Curtis Institute of Music, Hong Kong Cultural Center, and the University of Auckland. A recipient of prizes at the Queen Elizabeth and Tchaikovsky Competitions, Nikki was the 1st Prize Winner of the Montreal Symphony’s Standard Life Competition, the Klein International Strings Competition, and the Michael Hill International Violin Competition. He released his debut album of works by Prokoﬁev, Ravel, and Gershwin on the Atoll Label.
Canadian violinist, Timothy Chooi is the First Prize Winner of the 2018 Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition in Hannover, Germany. He most recently also won the 1st Prize of the Schadt Violin Competition in the United States of America and was awarded 2nd place in the Queen Elisabeth International Violin Competition in Brussels, Belgium. He had already made a name for himself as an awarded of numerous prizes, among them the Michael Hill Violin Competition in New Zealand, Montreal Symphony ManuLife Competition, and this summer, the ‘Prix Yves Paternot’ of the Verbier Festival Academy as ‘Most Outstanding Young Musician,’ earning him his debut as a solo artist in the upcoming season at the Vebier Festival. Chooi has performed worldwide with renowned orchestras, among them the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Malaysian Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and the NDR Philharmonie.
2018-19 season highlights include performances of Mendelssohn, Bruch and Tchaikovsky Concerti with the Robert-Schumann-Philharmonie and Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt (Germany), Filharmonia Poznanska (Poland), Sønderjyllands Symfoniorkester (Denmark), Montreal Symphony Orchestra and the National Arts Centre Orchestra (Canada) with Pinchas Zukerman conducting.
Along with winning top international prizes, he has contributed his violin performances in global peace events such as the Asian Heritage Day Gala in collaboration with the Government of Canada. With his older brother, Nikki-also a violinist- he has founded the ensemble ‘The Chooi Brothers’ which has been performing for over five years with a special dedication of bringing performances across remote regions of the world where classical music is still rare. Most recently, they have completed a project of performing ten concerts in isolated communities across the Arctic.
Chooi acknowledges the generous loan of his 1717 Windsor-Weinstein Stradivarius from the Canada Council for the Arts.