Canadian Violinist, Nikki Chooi has been described as “richly expressive and technically assured” (Calgary Herald) and “vigorous and colorful” (New York Times).
Nikki is a First Prize Winner of the 2013 Michael Hill Internationaly Violin Competition and the 2009 Klein International Competition, a Laureate of the 2012 Queen Elisabeth Violin Competition, and a winner of the 2013 Astral Artists' Auditions.
His Concerto Engagements in recent years have included performing with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Victoria Symphony, the Edmonton Symphony, National Orchestra of Belgium, Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie, the Peninsula Symphony, the Santa Cruz Symphony, the Winnipeg Symphony, the Calgary Philharmonic, the West Virginia Symphony, the Louisville Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic, the Auckland Philharmonia, and the St.Petersburg State Symphony in Russia.
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, La Monnai "Concertini" in Belgium, Chicago’s Harris Theatre, Australia's Musica Viva, and Carnegie’s Zankel Hall.
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, Chamber Music Northwest, 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 and in 2014, he toured with Musicians from Marlboro. He frequently performs with his violinist brother, Timothy Chooi.
He has served as Concertmaster of New York's Metropolitan Opera Orchestra during the 2016/2017 season and has appeared as Guest Concertmaster with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Houston Symphony, and the Moritzburg Festival Orchestra.
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.
Nikki gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, CBC Radio, the Sylva Gelber Foundation, and the Victoria Foundation.
Nikki was born in 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.
Siwoo Kim is an “incisive” and “compelling” (Zachary Woolfe, The New York Times) violinist who plays with “stylistic sensitivity and generous tonal nuance” (John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune). Siwoo performs as soloist and chamber musician and is also the founding co-artistic director of VIVO Music Festival in his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.
Siwoo made his New York concerto debut at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium with James DePreist and the Juilliard Orchestra. He made his Walt Disney Concert Hall concerto debut shortly after. In addition, he has given concerto performances with the Columbus, Houston, Johannesburg, Kwazulu-Natal, Seongnam, Springfield (MO), and Tulsa symphony orchestras, among others. Siwoo gave the world premiere performance of Samuel Adler’s violin concerto and will be recording the work in Germany this season to coincide with the composer’s 90th anniversary.
An enthusiastic collaborator, Mr. Kim founded Quartet Senza Misura. Praised for their “whip-smart performances” (Alex Ross, The New Yorker), the string quartet has performed at an array of venues such as Alice Tully Hall of Lincoln Center, Terrace Theater of The Kennedy Center, Seoul Arts Center, La Fundacion Juan March in Spain, and the Simon Bolivar Conservatory of Music in Venezuela. In recent seasons, Siwoo has been a violinist of Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble Connect (ACJW) and the Marlboro Music Festival. He has been featured internationally as guest artist at the Tivoli Festival in Denmark, the Bergen International Festival in Norway, the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival in South Africa, and with Ensemble DITTO in South Korea. He has performed chamber music with Itzhak Perlman, Joyce DiDonato, Jeremy Denk, Kim Kashkashian, and members of the Guarneri, Juilliard and Takacs String Quartets.
Siwoo was named the recipient of the 2012 King Award for Young Artists. He took second place at the 2010 Corpus Christi International Competition for Piano and Strings, where he was also awarded special prizes for the best performance of solo Bach and violin performance. He has also been named top prizewinner in the California, Chengdu, Crescendo, Hellam, Ima Hogg, Juilliard, Schadt, Sejong, and WAMSO competitions.
Siwoo studied with Roland and Almita Vamos at the Music Institute of Chicago. He went on to receive both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from The Juilliard School where he studied with Robert Mann, Donald Weilerstein and Ronald Copes.