Powerful and finely nuanced interpretations, sumptuous sonorities, and a compelling stage presence are just a few of the hallmarks of internationally acclaimed violinist Timothy Chooi. A popular soloist and recitalist, he is sought after as much for his passionate performances as for his wide-ranging repertoire. Recent honors include Second Prize, Belgium’s world-renowned 2019 Queen Elisabeth Competition, First Prize, the 2018 Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition in Germany, and the First Prize, the 2018 Schadt Violin Competition in the USA, In 2018 Chooi also won the ‘Prix Yves Paternot’ of Switzerland's Verbier Festival, a prize which recognises the most promising and accomplished musician of the annual Academy for young professional musicians, earning Chooi his future debut as a solo artist in the 2022 Verbier Festival.
Future engagements include returns to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra with Peter Oundjian, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra Ottawa, and the Belgian National Orchestra, as well as his debuts with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra and Mikhail Pletnev, DSO Berlin, Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt, Saarländisches Staatsorchester, and the Sichuan Symphony Orchestra. Upcoming recitals see Chooi performing in cities worldwide, including Seoul, Brussels, Hannover, Antwerp, Philadelphia, and Vancouver.
Recent performances include engagement with The Belgian National Orchestra, Luxembourg Chamber Orchestra, and l'Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal; a live on-air recital on New York City’s WQXR classical radio station; and recital tours of Belgium and the United States. In addition to having already performed with every major orchestra in his home country of Canada, Timothy Chooi has also played with the Brussels Philharmonic under Stéphane Denève, with Santa Barbara Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonique de Liége, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, and the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra. He has also made an extensive recital tour with Jeunesses Musicales du Canada, appeared at the Ravinia Festival and made his Carnegie Hall debut.
In addition to his 2019 and 2018 awards, Timothy Chooi’s numerous honors include third prize at the 2015 Michael Hill Violin Competition in New Zealand, and Grand Prize at the 2010 Montreal Symphony ManuLife Competition in Canada. He also won the EMCY Prize at the 2014 Yehudi Menuhin International Competition. and the Vadim Repin Scholarship Award in New York.
As a founding member of The VISION Collective, a three-year-old ensemble of musicians and composers that utilizes music to highlight refugee and immigrant voices and stories, raising awareness for the global refugee crisis, and brings together individuals from all walks of life together to create diverse and meaningful art, he is also a recipient of the 2020 Harold W. McGraw Family Foundation's The Robert Sherman Award for Music Education and Community Outreach.
Born in 1993 in Victoria BC, Canada, Timothy Chooi made his orchestral debut at the age of seven performing with his brother Nikki and the Victoria Symphony Orchestra. When Chooi was 14 years old, he won a full scholarship to attend the Academy Program at the Mount Royal Conservatory in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and two years later was accepted to the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he studied with Ida Kavafian. Just a few months after enrolling at Curtis he made his concerto debut with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Jean Francois Rivest, upon which performance he was hailed by La Presse in Montreal as "the miracle violinist.” Chooi went on to complete the master’s program at The Juilliard School under the tutelage of Catherine Cho. His mentors include Ida Kavafian, Pamela Frank, Pinchas Zukerman, Pamela Frank and Patinka Kopec. He currently is enrolled in Juilliard’s prestigious Artist Diploma program.
Timothy Chooi performs on the 1717 Windsor-Weinstein Stradivarius on generous loan from the Canada Council for the Arts. He gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, CBC Radio, the Sylva Gelber Foundation, and the Victoria Foundation.