Cellist Sokol Nikaj was born in Tirana, Albania. A National Cello Competition first prize winner, Sokol studied under Gjovalin Lazri in Artistic Lyceum “Jordan Misja”. He received his bachelor’s degree from Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany and his master’s degree from Queens College in 2007. Principal teachers include Julius Berger and Marcy Rosen. While studying in Germany he performed in the Eckelshausen Festival, Schott Verlag, Rathaus Mainz, and at the Brandenburg Gate under the direction of Mstislav Rostropovich. He also toured with the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie.
Since immigrating to New York in 2003, Sokol has performed in many premiere concert venues including Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, Weill Recital Hall, Flushing Town Hall, Steinway Hall, and the Colden Center for the Performing Arts. He has performed as a guest cellist with the Corona Trio and was Goliard Concerts’ 2007 Herman De Jong Memorial Scholarship winner. Sokol is also a cellist with The Red Door Chamber Players, a Long Island ensemble dedicated to sharing outstanding classical performance with the public.