Canadian violinist Timothy Chooi and pianist Natalia Kazaryan perform works by Vitali, Prokofiev, and William Kroll in Preston Bradley Hall at the Chicago Cultural Center.
Hailed by Montreal’s La Presse as “The Miracle,” Canadian violinist Timothy Chooi was named both the First Prize and Audience Choice Winner at the 2018 Schadt String Competition. A winner of Astral’s 2016 National Auditions, he was also awarded the Bronze Medal at New Zealand’s 2015 Michael Hill International Violin Competition, and has won a Vadim Repin International Scholarship and a Sylva Gelber Award, honors from the Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank, and was the Grand Prize winner of the 2010 Montreal Symphony Manulife Competition. Mr. Chooi has performed with every major orchestra in Canada. Highlights of past and upcoming seasons include his concerto debuts with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Malaysian Philharmonic, Santa Barbara Symphony, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Newfoundland Symphony, and the Edmonton Symphony, as well as his Carnegie Hall debut. He recently completed a recital tour with Jeunesses Musicales du Canada, performed with violinist Pinchas Zukerman and the National Arts Centre Orchestra, recorded his debut album, and appeared at Chicago’s Ravinia Festival. He began studies at the Victoria Conservatory of Music at the age of three and is a graduate of the Mount Royal Conservatory. He received his undergraduate degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, and currently studies at The Juilliard School.
From Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia, pianist Natalia Kazaryan has been hailed by The New York Sun for her “prodigious ability,” remarking that she “immediately established an atmosphere of strength and confidence.” She began studying piano at the age of six, and performed as soloist with the Tbilisi State Chamber Orchestra just one year later. A winner of Astral’s 2016 National Auditions, she has also captured top prizes at the Eastman Young Artists International Piano Competition, the Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Competition, and the Second New York Piano Competition, and was the First Prize winner of the Concours FLAME in Paris and the Second Prize winner of the Concours international de piano d’Ile de France. She recently appeared in New York’s Merkin Concert Hall, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, the Schloss Mirabell in Salzburg, Théâtre des Variétés in Monaco, Auditorio Sony in Madrid, Palazzo Tornabuoni in Florence, and the Musée Carnavalet and Salle Cortot in Paris. Ms. Kazaryan was the first Juilliard student to participate in the Carla Bruni-Sarkozy exchange with the Paris Conservatoire, and she also took part in the Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship, for collaboration between The Juilliard School, the Paris Conservatoire, and the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien. On a Fulbright Grant, she furthered her studies in Paris, with a focus on Olivier Messiaen’s Vingt Regards sur l’enfant Jésus. Ms. Kazaryan studied in the preparatory division of the Tbilisi Music Conservatory. She holds both a Bachelor and Master’s degree from The Juilliard School, and also studied at Madrid’s Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofia. She received a “Sobresaliente” Award from the hands of Queen Sofia of Spain, for outstanding work and excellence. She recently concluded doctoral studies at the University of Michigan and holds an adjunct faculty position at Howard University.