Nikki Chooi is a Canadian classical violinist. He is the winner of the 2013 Michael Hill International Violin Competition in New Zealand and Laureate of the 2012 Queen Elisabeth Music Competition. Appointed by Maestro James Levine, Nikki serves as Concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in New York for the 2016/2017 season.
He was born on January 31, 1989 to parents of Chinese descent in Victoria, British Columbia. He began his studies at the Victoria Conservatory of Music where at age 9, he became a protege of Sydney Humphreys. He is a graduate of the Mount Royal Conservatory under Bill van der Sloot, and received his undergraduate degree at the Curtis Institute of Music, and recently completed his studies at the Juilliard School with Ida Kavafian, Joseph Silverstein, and Donald Weilerstein. In 2004, he came to national attention as the Grand Award winner of the Canadian National Music Festival and the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal Standard Life Competition.
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. Together, they have performed with the Edmonton Symphony, Newfoundland 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, performing internationally with highlights in Barbados, Grand Teton, La Jolla SummerFest, and with the Hong Kong Philharmonic.