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Seth Tompkins

Seth's Bio

A midwestern transplant with a Northwest state of mind, Seth Tompkins came a long way to master his craft when he arrived in Seattle to study at the University of Washington in 2009. With Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in tuba performance from Central Michigan University and The University of Washington respectively, Seth joined the Classical KING team in 2011, utilizing his music knowledge by joining the classical radio world. Performance still has a home in Seth’s life, freelancing with local music groups including Seattle Symphony, Olympia Symphony, Saratoga Orchestra of Whidbey Island, Seattle Modern Orchestra, Seattle Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra, Seattle Rock Orchestra, and more.

Since starting at Classical KING, Seth has taken on several roles, varying from Music Assistant, Assistant Music Director, Content Manager, Programming Director, he was on the team that created Second Inversion, and currently he hosts The Morning Show every weekday.

When he’s not waking us up each morning on-air, Seth is passionate about food, drink, and the outdoors (with an emphasis on hiking). And when it comes to music, you’ll find him listening to brass music, 20th century music, and American music. Although he’s proudly interested in every format and ensemble type of classical music, his home base is orchestral music.

Get to know Seth

Q&A with Seth

KING: Let’s say you have a free day to spend somewhere beautiful. Are you heading to the beach or the mountains? In the Pacific Northwest, of course, we have easy access to both.

SETH: A difficult choice, but I’ll say mountains, unless there’s a good low tide for clamming.

KING: Favorite type of food?

SETH: I love most kinds of food, but I’ll say Chinese, especially Sichuan.

KING: It’s game night! Are you hoping for a board/tabletop game, a video game, or a sporting event?

SETH: Board games, especially collaborative and secret-identity games.

KING: Beatles or Rolling Stones? (Or Bach or Beethoven?)

SETH: Beatles all the way.

KING: What music might people be surprised to learn you listen to — when you’re not listening to KING, that is?

SETH: Dance/EDM.

KING: What classical composers, living or dead, haven’t gotten their fair dose of attention — which composers aren’t “household names” but should be?

SETH: Generally, I think Ralph Vaughan Williams, William Grant Still, Samuel Barber, and Arvo Pärt could all be more well-known.

KING: If your classical music collection was entirely vinyl records, which of those records would be nearly worn-out from being played dozens of times? In other words, what music do you come back to, over and over again?

SETH: Mahler symphonies 2, 5, and 7, the Barber Violin Concerto, John Adams’s Chairman Dances, the Sibelius Violin Concerto, Wagner overtures and Ring Cycle excerpts.

KING: What pieces of music do you turn to when you need comfort, solace, or relaxation?

SETH: With classical, I’ll go for Ravel’s Pavane for a Dead Princess, and Vaughan William’s Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, but usually when I want to relax I’ll listen to jazz, especially slower stuff by Stan Getz or Charles Mingus.

KING: Let’s say you’re hosting a musical dinner party or cocktail party, and you can invite three composers or performers, living or dead. Whom do you invite?

SETH: Sibelius, Mozart, and Stravinsky, not because of their music, but because I know they were each capable of having a good time.


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