Nikki Chooi named new concertmaster of Met Opera Orchestra; leaves Time for Three

July 7, 2016, 11:19 AM · Congratulations to Canadian violinist Nikki Chooi, who was named new concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra Thursday.

The announcement comes just a little more than a month after the Met named conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin as its new Music Director, replacing James Levine, who retired in the spring after 40 years and will continue as Music Director Emeritus. Nézet-Séguin is also Music Director of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Chooi will serve a one-year term beginning next month, joining current Met concertmaster David Chan, who will continue in the position, which he has held since 2000. Chooi, 27, earned his undergraduate degree at the Curtis Institute of Music and also studied with Ida Kavafian and Donald Weilerstein at the Juilliard School. He was First Prize Winner of the 2013 Michael Hill International Violin Competition, among other honors.

Nikki Chooi
Nikki Chooi. Photo by Simon Darby.

Just last summer Chooi had replaced violinist Zach De Pue in the mixed-genre trio Time for Three, which also includes violinist Nicolas Kendall and bassist Ranaan Meyer. He will step down from that position.

"While this news caught us all by surprise and left us wondering where this unexpected turn in our journey would lead us, it was perhaps through good karma and fate that we have found our new band member and soulmate, violinist Charles Yang," Time for Three posted on its website Thursday.

Originally from Texas, Yang, 26, is a graduate of Juilliard who studied with Kurt Sassmanshaus, Paul Kantor, Brian Lewis and Glenn Dicterow.

Time for Three
Time for Three's new lineup: Charles Yang, Ranaan Meyer and Nicolas Kendall. Photo from TF3.

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July 7, 2016 at 11:08 PM · Congratulations Nikki! Nikki and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, two great musicians from Canada.

July 9, 2016 at 08:18 PM · That's awesome! Congratulations Nikki! :-) CHEERS!

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