Canadian wins prestigious Michael Hill International Violin Competition


Canadian Nikki Chooi has won this year’s Michael Hill International Violin Competition.

Chooi, 24, and two other finalists, Sarah Christian, of Germany, and fellow Canadian Boson Mo, competed in the final in Auckland last night (Saturday).

The violinists performed with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.

Chooi earlier won the ‘best performance’ of the New Zealand-commissioned work, Jack Body’s Caravan, during the first two rounds of the semi-finals, held in Queenstown last weekend.

Chooi, who last night performed the Sibelius Concerto in D minor, wins $40,000, a recording with Atoll, a tailored suit from Working Style and a winner’s tour of NZ next year.

“I feel amazing – words can’t describe how I feel … it’s a dream come true.”

Chooi had been one of the 18 semi-finalists in the 2007 competition.

Christian came second last night, and also won the Chamber Music Prize, and Mo came third.

NZ semi-finalist Natalie Lin, one of six violinists selected for the third round of the semi-finals, held mid-week in Auckland, won the Audience Prize.

Besides attracting good audiences in Queenstown and Auckland, this year’s competition was also live-streamed over the internet.

To date it’s attracted more than 18,000 views.

Arrowtown-based jeweller Sir Michael Hill has now sponsored seven editions of this competition, going back to 2001.

The next one will be held in Queenstown and Auckland in 2015.