(L-R): Timothy Chooi, Robert Koenig, Heidi Lehwalder, and Nikki Chooi
following the performance on Sunday, May 1, 2016 Photo: Christine Gregory
Nikki & Timothy Chooi | Prokofiev Duo
Nikki Chooi, Violinist
Photo credit: Simon Darby
Canadian violinist Nikki Chooi has been described as “a model of taste and tonal refinement” (Boston Globe) and “vigorous and colorful” (New York Times).
As First Prize Winner of the 2013 Michael Hill International Violin Competition, Nikki recently completed an extensive recital tour with Chamber Music New Zealand, performed with Giordano Bellincampi and the Auckland Philharmonia, recorded his debut album with the Atoll Label, and gave a recital at Australia’s Musica Viva Series. He is also a winner of the 2013 Astral Artists' Auditions and Laureate of the 2012 Queen Elisabeth Violin Competition.
Nikki’s 2014/2015 season will include performing at the Ottawa Chamber Fest, the Moritzburg Festival in Germany, Philadelphia's Astral Artists Series, Chicago’s Harris Theatre, a Musicians from Marlboro Tour, and engagements with the Winnipeg Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, Louiseville Orchestra, and Orchestre Symphonique de Laval.
Earlier in 2014, Nikki made his debut as Soloist with the Malaysian Philharmonic and the St.Petersburg State Symphony at the Musical Olympus Festival in Russia. His concerto engagements in recent years have included performing with the Victoria Symphony, the Edmonton Symphony, National Orchestra of Belgium, Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie, the Peninsula Symphony, the Santa Cruz Symphony, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, and the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal.
His recital engagements have included: the Vancouver Recital Series, Debut Atlantic Canada Recital Tour, Canadian National Arts Debut Series, Caramoor Rising Stars Series in New York, Chamber Music Tulsa, Dame Myra Hess Series in Chicago, and La Monnai "Concertini" in Belgium.
Passionate in Chamber Music as well, Nikki has performed in many international festivals including the Marlboro Music Festival, the Ravinia Festival, the Dresden Music Festival in Germany, Montreal Chamber Fest, Napa Valley’s Music from the Vineyards, and Music from Angel Fire. He has collaborated in performances with Pamela Frank, Gary Graffman, Kim Kashkashian and with members of the Guarneri String Quartet, Juilliard String Quartet, Vermeer String Quartet, Orion String Quartet. In 2009, Nikki was a core member of the Curtis on Tour to Europe ensemble performing with Roberto Diaz and Robert MacDonald.
Nikki was born 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, and received his undergraduate degree at the Curtis Institute of Music, and recently completed his studies at the Juilliard School with Ida Kavafian 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.
Nikki Chooi | Bruch Concerto with the St.Petersbutg State Orchestra
Born in Victoria, British Columbia, Canadian violinist Timothy Chooi is enrolled at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia studying with Ida Kavafian, and previously studied with Pinchas Zukerman and Patinka Kopec. At the age of 16, Chooi captured the 2010 Grand Prix of the 71st l'Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal Standard Life Competition, bringing him numerous concert engagements. Chooi debuted with the l'Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal under the command of Maestro Jean-François Rivest. The La Presse newspaper of Montréal described Chooi's debut as “le miracle [the miracle].” He has since played with l'Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal again under the baton of Maestro Kent Nagano. Chooi was recently awarded the Bronze Medal (3rd Prize) at the 2015 Michael Hill International Violin Competition in New Zealand.
Winner of the 2013 Vadim Repin International Scholarship Audition, Chooi performed at the Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall in 2013 to a rousing reception. Other top awards include the winner of the 2012 Canada Council Instrument Bank Competition, recipient of the Sylva Gelber Music Foundation, the Morningside MusicBridge International Competition in Calgary, Vancouver’s Musical Society Club Competition, the recipient of the Roberto and Mary Wood Scholarship and winner of the “Special Violin Prize” at the 2010 Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition in Oslo, Norway.
Highlight performances in 2015-2016 season include performances with the Montreal Chamber Orchestra, the Santa Barbara Symphony, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, and recital tours in Quebec and Latin America. Chooi has performed with major orchestras across the world including Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Toronto Philharmonia, Auckland Philharmonia, and the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductors that he has worked with include Pinchas Zukerman, Benjamin Zander, Carlos Miguel Prieto, Kent Nagano, and Yoav Talmi. Chooi maintains a close relationship with CBC Radio-Canada, and his performances are regularly recorded and broadcasted across the world.
| Saint Saens Concerto No. 3
Pianist Robert Koenig has quickly established a reputation as a much sought-after collaborative pianist and chamber musician. He performs regularly in major centers throughout the world with many of this generation’s most renowned musicians. Recent engagements have included performances at Carnegie Hall in New York, The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, The Concertgebuow in Amsterdam, The Louvre Museum in Paris, and Royal Festival Hall in London. He has performed with many of today’s leading artists including Sarah Chang, Hilary Hahn, Pamela Frank, Augustin Hadelich, Zuill Bailey, Roberto Diaz, Elmar Oliveira, Aaron Rosand, The Miro String Quartet, and The St. Lawrence String Quartet.
Mr. Koenig has appeared at many festivals including Aspen, Ravinia, Banff, Saratoga, Caramoor, the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, the El Paso Pro Musica, Chamber Music Northwest, West Branch International Festival and Academy, the Campos do Jordao Festival in Brazil, and the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York. He is frequently heard on radio and television including ABC’s “Good Morning America” and CBS “This Morning”. Mr. Koenig was staff pianist at both The Juilliard School and The Curtis Institute of Music, and from 2000-2007 he served as Professor of Piano and Piano Chamber Music at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. With the assistance of the University of Kansas Center for Research, Mr. Koenig commissioned renowned American Composer Lowell Liebermann to write a new trio for flute, cello and piano. In the fall of 2007, he assumed the position as Professor and Head of The Collaborative Piano Program at The University of California Santa Barbara.
Mr. Koenig has recorded for Artek, Ambassador, Biddulph, Cedille, CRI, Decca, Eroica, and Naxos. His CD of transcriptions for viola and piano by William Primrose on Naxos with violist Roberto Diaz was nominated for “Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (without orchestra)” at the 49th annual Grammy Awards.
Born in Saskatchewan, Robert Koenig began his formal training at the Vancouver Academy of Music with Lee KumSing and Gwen Thompson and later studied at the Banff School of Fine Arts and the Academie Musicale di Chigiana in Siena, Italy. During this time he received several awards from the Canadian Government including a Canada Council Project Grant. He completed both his Bachelors and Masters degrees in Accompanying at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia where he studied with Dr. Vladimir Sokoloff and chamber music with Felix Galimir and Karen Tuttle.