Monday, November 11, 2019

Kelly Hall-Tompkins’ Music Kitchen Makes Carnegie Hall Debut on May 21, 2020

World premiere of Forgotten Voices celebrates Music Kitchen’s 15th Season

15 noted composers set words of homeless men and women to create a unique song cycle

Presented in Association with Carnegie Hall

"The [Music Kitchen] concerts have an air of authenticity and directness that sometimes does not exist in concert halls." - The New York Times

Music Kitchen , an organization founded and led by concert violinist and entrepreneur Kelly Hall-Tompkins, will make its debut at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall on Thursday, May 21, 2020 at 7:30 p.m . The program, presented in association with Carnegie Hall, features the world premiere of Forgotten Voices, a song cycle created by 15 noted composers. The text consists of words written by the audience at homeless shelters coast to coast in reaction to the Music Kitchen concerts they experienced. Tickets are $35, available at; details are below.

The composers contributing works to this unique song cycle represent a diversity of genders, cultures and backgrounds. The list includes Pulitzer Prize winners and internationally renowned figures alongside emerging artists and Ms. Hall-Tompkins herself: Courtney Bryan, Jon Grier, Gabriel Kahane, James Lee III, Tania León, Beata Moon, Paul Moravec, Angélica Negrón, Kevin Puts, Steve Sandberg, Jeff Scott, Carlos Simon, Errollyn Wallen, and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich.

In addition to the violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins, the featured performers include Allison Charney, soprano; Adrienne Danrich, mezzo soprano; Jesse Blumberg, baritone; Mark Risinger, bass; Ling Ling Huang, violin; Andrew Gonzalez, viola; Alexis Gerlach and Peter Seidenberg, cellos; with additional artists to be announced at a later date.

Kelly Hall-Tompkins founded Music Kitchen in 2005, seeing a need to bring the joy of live music to people in homeless shelters. Hall-Tompkins and her Music Kitchen colleagues – top-notch international concert performers – have given over 100 concerts at homeless shelters around the world. At each performance, members of the audience are invited to write down their comments and emotions, and these words, collected over 14 years now form the text of the 15 songs in Forgotten Voices .

“By setting the life experiences and hardships of homeless men and women to music by some of the world’s greatest composers, we bring voice to the voiceless in an unprecedented way, and share the triumphs, hopes and humanity that exists in us all,” says Ms. Hall-Tompkins. Through the Forgotten Voices project, we hope to inspire concert-goers to learn more about the forgotten people they may overlook in their own communities.”

Some of Kelly Hall-Tompkins' inspiration comes from a particularly tragic story that touched her deeply. Just a day before Music Kitchen’s concert at a shelter in Los Angeles, news arrived that a homeless woman well known to many in that community had passed away. Ms. Hall-Tompkins said, “When we decided to dedicate that day’s performance to this woman, the clients were deeply moved by the gesture. The director of the shelter told me that one of the biggest fears among the people they work with is living and dying in the shadows of an uncaring society.”   

The featured cycle is comprised of songs that have been premiered in shelters each month since the beginning of 2019. The world premiere of the complete work, entitled Forgotten Voices , will be performed by an ensemble of outstanding string players and vocalists. Forgotten Voices is commissioned by Music Kitchen with support from Carnegie Hall. The evening will include also include Q&A from the stage led by NBC senior correspondent Harry Smith. Full program information is listed below.

Music Kitchen-Food For the Soul presents in association with Carnegie Hall:

World Premiere of Forgotten Voices
Thursday, May 21, 2020 | 7:30pm
Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall
Tickets: $35
Featured Artists
Allison Charney, soprano, Adrienne Danrich, soprano/mezzo soprano, Jesse Blumberg, baritone, Mark Risinger, bass
Kelly Hall-Tompkins and Ling Ling Huang, violins; Andrew Gonzalez, viola; Alexis Gerlach and Peter Seidenberg, cellos

Performing music by
Courtney Bryan, Jon Grier, Kelly Hall-Tompkins, Gabriel Kahane, James Lee III, Tania León, Beata Moon, Paul Moravec, Angélica Negrón, Kevin Puts, Steve Sandberg, Jeff Scott, Carlos Simon, Errollyn Wallen, and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich

With texts by
audiences at Music Kitchen concerts at homeless shelters compiled over 14 years of concerts
Tickets are available at , by phone at 212-247-7800, or in person at the Carnegie Hall Box Office

For more information, visit

Violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins
Founder, Executive/Artistic Director, Music Kitchen

Winner of a Naumburg International Violin Competition Honorarium Prize, an Honorary Doctorate from the Manhattan School of Music, and featured in the Smithsonian Museum for African-American History, Ms. Hall-Tompkins has been acclaimed by The New York Times as "the versatile violinist who makes the music come alive," featured as a New York Times New Yorker of the Year (2017) for her "tonal mastery" ( BBC Music Magazine ) and by Forbes as “an amazing philanthropist and business woman.” 

She appeared in spring 2019 as co-soloist in Carnegie Hall with violinist Glenn Dicterow and Leonard Slatkin conducting, in London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall and for “Forgotten Voices” a United Nations Concert at Lincoln Center. She has appeared as soloist live on BBC Radio in London, and with the symphony orchestras of Dallas, Jacksonville, Tulsa, Oakland, Brevard Festival, Uruguay, as well as in recitals in cities including Paris, New York, Toronto, Washington, Chicago, Baltimore, as inaugural guest artist in residence of the Cincinnati Symphony, and at festivals in France, Germany and Italy. Ms. Hall-Tompkins was “Fiddler”/Violin Soloist of the Grammy and Tony Award nominated Broadway production of Fiddler on the Roof. Her subsequent solo disc “The Fiddler Expanding Tradition” emerged as a ground-breaking first ever Fiddler solo CD. The disc and her live performances in Kiev are featured in “Fiddler: Miracle of Miracles,” the new documentary on the 50-year history of  Fiddler on the Roof . Collaborator with Mark O’Connor and member of the Ritz Chamber players, she has appeared at Tanglewood, Ravinia, Santa Fe and Lincoln Center.

As a trailblazing social justice entrepreneur, Ms. Hall-Tompkins is Founder of Music Kitchen– Food for the Soul, which has brought over 100 concerts to an estimated 18,000 homeless shelter clients nationwide from New York to Los Angeles and in Paris, France and has featured over 150 artists including Emanuel Ax, Glenn Dicterow, Albrecht Mayer, Jeff Ziegler, and Rene Marie. Kelly and Music Kitchen have been featured in The New York Times, on and, plus Strings Magazine, Chamber Music America Magazine, Spirituality and Health Magazine , Columbia University Radio and cable’s Hallmark Channel.

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