Met adds Canadian concertmaster

The violinist Nikki Chooi, 27, has been plucked from the offbeat Time for Three ensemble to be joint concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera. Its a trial contract, one year only.

Nikki is Canadian. So is the incoming Met music director, Yannick.

What was it we were saying the other day about the Canadians coming?

nikki chooi

 

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  • And as a different ‘we’ said the other day, the Canadians came a long time ago. If there is surprise at the emergence of artists such as Chooi, et al., it is only because those surprised never registered the fact that certain established musicians of today and many of yesteryear (some listed by commenters in response to that earlier post) are/were, indeed, Canadian. I must doubt if anyone who thinks a Canadian being appointed joint concertmaster at the Met is an historic event of sorts knows anything of, e.g., Steven Staryk, now 84, concertmaster of the RPO, Concertgebouw, Chicago SO…as well as an outstanding soloist. See The New Grove.

  • I saw Chooi in Thunder Bay Ontario last season. He did a brilliant Sibelius violin concerto. Its nice to know that our little part-time orchestra can attract world class guest talent.

  • If I’m not mistaken, Erik Gratton, the Canadian principal flute of the Nashville Symphony, will be filling a one-year position at The Met this coming season.

  • Does anyone know if this one year contract is just a trial year? Or is it simply a one year contract without chance for renewal?

  • Nikki is a marvelous violinist as well as a very nice guy. I have fond memories of hearing him play during his years at Curtis.

  • While talking of Canadians as concertmasters of some of the leading orchestras outside of Canada, don’t forget the very fine Martin Chalifour from Quebec who has been the leader of the LA Phil for two decades now.

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