Nikki touches down soon
In the last couple of weeks Nikki Chooi of Canada, and first prize winner of the 2013 Competition, has performed in Kuala Lumpur and St Petersburg, -- and graduated from Juilliard! Some how he managed to fit in lots of preparation for his massive Winners Tour presented in partnership with Chamber Music New Zealand.
Nikki will be joined next week by New Zealand-native - now international pianist, Stephen De Pledge, for three exciting programmes of absolute fireworks, from Ravel’s gypsy Tzigane and the De Falla Suite Espagnole, to the virtuoso Ysaÿe and profound Prokofiev No 1. Jack Body’s Caravan had critics raving for its evocative depiction of the Silk Road: and trios follow with cellist Ashley Brown, including Smetana’s Bohemian masterpiece, his piano trio of 1855. Toward the end of the tour, Nikki and Stephen will be recording much of the repertoire for the Atoll Record label as part of Nikki's first prize package.
The Bruch violin concerto with the APO kicks things off on 5 June and the NZ portion of the tour concludes 29 June in Queenstown. Along the way, Nikkis is performing in 14 Centres throughout New Zealand and giving masterclasses and workshops as he goes. Straight afterwards Nikki heads to Melbourne for a recital with Musica Viva Australia.
Programme details and ticket information can be found at: http://www.chambermusic.co.nz/whats-on/the-winners-tour-nikki-chooi-2014
Getting to Know Nikki – a multi-lingual, sorbet-loving, jock
By the end of June, we will know a whole lot more about Nikki, but in the
meantime, we asked him to give us some insights:
I was born in Canada - my father is from Malaysia, my mother from Indonesia. They are both of Chinese descent. They met in Victoria, BC while attending the University of Victoria and decided to stay in Canada after their studies. The name “Chooi” is the Malaysian spelling of a Chinese surname. It is more commonly spelled as Xu or Hsu. My father speaks Cantonese, Malay, and English while my mother speaks Mandarin, Indonesian-Malay, and English - growing up, we mixed all the languages together and it became a soup of a language. I would say my strongest second language would be Mandarin.
I am an avid sports fan - especially Vancouver Canucks Hockey. I also follow tennis and basketball. At the moment, I’ve been occupied with listening to Yale Online Classes in Philosophy on my iPhone and
also reading Swafford’s biography on Brahms. I enjoy cooking, casually listening to U2, Beatles, Sinatra, Michael Jackson, and any Disney hit songs. I am inspired by Glenn Gould’s Bach Goldberg Variations, Mitsuko Uchida’s Mozart Piano Concertos, Leon Fleisher’s Beethoven Piano Concertos, any Guarneri Quartet recordings, any Heifetz recordings.
Anything ridiculously spicy would be on the top of my list of favourite foods. Mango Sorbet is a guilty pleasure of mine."