Prize-winning violinist set to perform in city

Canadian violinist Nikki Chooi will be in Palmerston North this week as part of a New Zealand tour after winning the Michael Hill International Violin Competition.

The competition is held biennially for violinists aged 18 to 28 and along with Stephen de Pledge, an award winning New Zealand pianist, Chooi will be touring 14 centres around the country as part of the $40,000 prize.

Chamber Music New Zealand chief executive Euan Murdoch said the audience will get to experience something very special from Chooi.

"He is an exceptional musician," Murdoch said. "He has a wonderful way of communicating through music."

The programme for the concert includes Caravan, a piece composed especially for the competition by Jack Body, which Chooi's rendition of won the award for best performance.

"I'm hoping to be able to transport the audience to a different world," Chooi said. "Caravan is full of rhythm and pulse, it's wonderful."

The programme for the concert also includes Ravel's gypsy Tzigane, the Da Falla Suite Espagnole, Gershwin's Prelludes and Beethoven's Sonata No 3 in E flat. Much of the repertoire will be recorded for Atoll Records.

Chooi said he is enjoying the New Zealand scenery and travelling around with de Pledge.

"Stephen is great to work with," Chooi said. "He is very easy going and laid back with some brilliant ideas."

Nikki Chooi and Stephen de Pledge will perform at the Spiers Centre tomorrow at 7.30pm with a free pre-concert talk at 6.45pm.

Manawatu Standard