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Kelly Hall-Tompkins' Music Kitchen Makes Carnegie Hall Debut This Spring

Kelly Hall-Tompkins' Music Kitchen Makes Carnegie Hall Debut This Spring

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 CarnegieHall.org; 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." Listen to Kelly Hall-Tompkins talk about Music Kitchen as she guest co-hosts NPR's Performance Today on Monday, October 14.

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.


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