Classical For Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Broadway's 'Fiddler' brings her musical nourishment to Kansas City

Violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins
Gregory Routt
Violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins

Violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins had a thriving solo and chamber career when Broadway came calling for her to be concertmaster and soloist in the 2015-16 revival of 'Fiddler on the Roof.' Classical KC speaks with Kelly about her time as the fiddler and her nonprofit, "Music Kitchen-Food for the Soul," which organizes classical music performances in homeless shelters around the world.

When you hear the word "fiddle," you might immediately think of the 1964 musical "Fiddler on the Roof."

For violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins, the allure of the fiddle beckoned her into the world of Broadway - but not until she had years of classical training under her belt.

"I grew up Lutheran and the Baroque music in the church was very inspiring to me on Sundays. But on Saturdays, I watched Warner Brothers cartoons and little did I know it, but I was actually learning some of the seminal works of classical music," she says.

That interest in classical music led her to degrees from the Eastman and Manhattan Schools of Music. And after a career as an orchestral and solo performer, the opportunity to be on Broadway arose.

Learn more about Hall-Tompkins' 400 performances as part of Broadway's fiddler in "Fiddler on the Roof" as well as her upcoming performance presented by the Harriman-Jewell Series by listening to the audio above.

Bonus Content
Enjoy this extended conversation between Christy L'Esperance and Kelly Hall-Tompkins.

Kelly Hall-Tompkins will be performing at the Folly Theater on Friday, Nov. 10 at 7:00 p.m. Learn more and buy tickets at

Kansas City native Christy L’Esperance (pronounced “LESS-per-ahns") started listening to classical music on the Snoopy radio she got for her 4th birthday. Today, as Classical KC’s Community Engagement Specialist and On-Air Host, she enjoys classical music through much better speakers. You can reach Christy at She would love to hear about the ways you keep music in your life.
Sam Wisman is a Senior Producer for 91.9 Classical KC and a backup announcer for KCUR 89.3. Email him at
Brooke Knoll is the digital audience specialist and afternoon host for Classical KC. You can reach her at