Nikki Chooi to play Calgary concerts with $5.5M violin
Young soloist makes his debut with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra this weekend
A young violinist is making his debut with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra this weekend during its performance of Heavenly Voices: Beethoven's Mass in C Major, playing a violin worth $5.5 million.
Nikki Chooi has been playing a 1700 Taft Stradivari violin for the past two and a half years, on loan from the Canada Council's Musical Instrument Bank. He was one of 18 young musicians who won the opportunity to borrow from the bank in 2012.
"It's actually quite challenging to play on; it's like learning to drive a great sports car." Chooi said.
Stradivarius violins are still considered to be the best in the business. Chooi finds the Taft a really interesting instrument.
"In the hall, it's not a big sounding violin but the bigger the hall the closer it sounds in the audience's ears."
Calgary audiences will get a chance to hear the Taft for themselves when Chooi joins the CPO this weekend. Even though Chooi is a graduate of Calgary's Mount Royal Conservatory, he has never played the Jack Singer Concert Hall before.
"It's just really a privilege to play with this great orchestra, to play in the city I love," he said.
The CPO performs Heavenly Voices: Beethoven's Mass in C Major with Chooi as featured soloist on Friday, March 13 and Saturday, March 14 at 8 p.m.