Violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins Presents “Forgotten Voices”
Released on AVIE Records, the album features 15 modern composers inspired by reactions to Music Kitchen, an initiative sharing classical music with homeless shelters
A prize-winning violinist and entrepreneur, Kelly Hall-Tompkins is the founder of Music Kitchen — a pioneer social justice organization, uniting professional artists in over 100 concerts presented in homeless shelters around the U.S. and Paris, France.
In 2019, with the support of New York’s Carnegie Hall, Music Kitchen commissioned “Forgotten Voices” to celebrate the organization reaching 30,000 homeless shelter clients.
Its debut album, “Forgotten Voices: A Song Cycle for Voices and Strings,” is a composite song cycle featuring 16 tracks based on and inspired by comments from homeless shelter clients during Music Kitchen’s first 100 concerts.
The 15 composers on the album comprise Courtney Bryan, Jon Grier, Kelly Hall-Tompkins, Gabriel Kahane, James Lee III, Beata Moon, Paul Moravec, Angelica Negron, Kevin Puts, Steve Sandberg, Kamala Sankaram, Jeff Scott, Carlos Simon, Errollyn Wallen, and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich.
Performers on the album include singers Allison Charney, Adrienne Danrich, Jesse Blumberg, and Mark Risinger; violinist Ling Ling Huang, violist Andrew Gonzalez, cellists Alexis Pia Gerlach and Peter Seidenberg, and double-bassist John-Paul Norpoth.
For Hall-Tompkins, this album was her fifth project with recording engineer Bill Siegmund at his Digital Island Studios.
"Our audience was in still, rapt attention — they were with us 100%, waiting for where the story would lead next," Hall-Tompkins said of the 124th Music Kitchen concert with pianist Marija Stroke and composer-narrator Bruce Adolphe. "They immediately connected with the violin as musical illustrations of the text."
"Music Kitchen reaches so many audiences because of the immediacy and authenticity of concert artists who bring their artistry to the shelter," Hall-Tompkins added.
The album is now available across all digital and physical platforms. To purchase and listen to the album, click here. Hardcopies are available here, and at the Carnegie Hall Gift Shop.
Music Kitchen’s upcoming projects include being featured on the German Public Radio and a screening of its short film, “Face to Face: Forgotten Voices Heard,” on March 25, 2023, where all proceeds will go toward Rockland County’s service organizations for those experiencing homelessness. “Face to Face” has won at several film festivals including at the Red Movie Awards and the Multi Dimension Independent, Cannes World, Stockholm Short, LA Documentary, Berlin Indie, and Berlin Shorts Film Festivals.
Hall-Tompkins has appeared at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, Lincoln Center, and as a co-soloist in Carnegie Hall with Glenn Dicterow and conductor Leonard Slatkin. She has performed with the Dallas, Jacksonville, and Oakland Symphonies; given recitals in Paris, New York, Toronto, Washington, Chicago; plus appeared at festivals in Tanglewood, Ravinia, Santa Fe, France, Germany, and Italy.
She studied at the Eastman School of Music and the Manhattan School of Music, where she later received an honorary doctorate. Her accolades include a 2017 Sphinx Medal of Excellence, Naumburg International Violin Competition Honorarium Prize, and being a feature in the Smithsonian Museum for African-American History. Additionally, Hall-Tompkins was the soloist of the GRAMMY and Tony-nominated Broadway production of “Fiddler on the Roof.”
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