Ariel Artists

Akropolis Reed Quintet

Akropolis

reed quintet

Exploding with infectious energy and intensity, the Akropolis Reed Quintet takes listeners on extraordinary musical adventures, offering audiences, presenters, and music students of all ages engaging, exemplary performances of both new and traditional repertoire.

Bio

Hailed for their “imagination, infallible musicality, and huge vitality” (Fanfare Magazine), the Akropolis Reed Quintet takes listeners on extraordinary musical adventures. Founded in 2009 at the University of Michigan, Akropolis has won six national chamber music prizes since 2011, including the 2014 Fischoff Gold Medal. Deeply committed to nurturing music appreciation among young audiences, Akropolis is also winner of the 2015 Fischoff Educator Award. Akropolis is an alumnus of APAP’s prestigious Young Performer’s Career Advancement Program (YPCA) and has received grants from Chamber Music America and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs for Detroit-based community and educational outreach projects, as well as operating support from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music’s Performance Program, whose objective is “to support performing and presenting organizations whose artistic excellence encourages and improves public knowledge and appreciation of serious contemporary American music”.

Akropolis’ impressive list of series and festival appearances include 16/17 stops at Caramoor, Chamber Music Northwest, and the Chautauqua Music Festival. Akropolis has been selected as a juried showcase participant at APAP, Chamber Music America, Performing Arts Exchange, and the Mid-Atlantic Performing Arts Market. With three studio releases (including a March, 2017 release, The Space Between Us), Akropolis has recorded 17 original reed quintet works, and by the end of the 16/17 season will have performed, recorded, or published the work of 21 American composers.

Prolific collaborators, Akropolis premiered the first work for reed quintet and string quartet by David Schiff with the Dover Quartet in 2015, and has performed with artists like the Miró Quartet and renowned clarinetist David Shifrin. In 2015 Akropolis gave an interactive, fully choreographed performance of Four-Letter-Word (Robbie McCarthy) with BodyVox Dance in Portland, OR, and has constructed multi-disciplinary performances with university dance students, theater students, and even HarperCollins published author and scientist, Vic Strecher. During its 16/17 season Akropolis will even perform with youth wind ensembles in Abu Dhabi.

A self-identified entrepreneurial enterprise, Akropolis recognizes the need for rising artists to carve out space for their careers in today’s marketplace. Establishing Akropolis WORKS in January 2016, Akropolis teaches an annual 7-week mini-course at the University of Michigan, and has delivered WORKS lectures to college-level musicians around the United States on marketing, financial planning, brand identity, and more. Equally committed to students K-12, Akropolis toured Illinois and Indiana on the Fischoff Educators Tour in 2015, collaborating with local school reading programs to musically re-enact a children’s book – “The Best Story” by Eileen Spinelli. In 2013 Akropolis conducted its “Fall Education Tour”, funded by over $5,000 raised by a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign. The tour visited 10 schools in Michigan serving underprivileged youth or under-funded arts programs.

Deeply invested in establishing the reed quintet as a cornerstone chamber music ensemble, Akropolis has commissioned more than 25 works from composers in 7 countries, and was selected to premiere the winner of the 2018 Barlow Prize funded by the Barlow Endowment. Previous Barlow Prize premieres have been performed by artists including Yo-Yo Ma, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and eighth blackbird. Akropolis produces a YouTube Web Premiere Series, showcasing new works, arrangements, and composer interviews for a live Internet audience. In 2012 Akropolis created Akropolis Collection and has now sold over 125 original and arranged sheet music works to more than 30 new and established reed quintets. Akropolis is also an annual judge for the Calefax Composers Competition, reviewing 40+ new reed quintet works and committing performances and recordings to their winning selections.

Placing emphasis on audience development for new and traditional classical music, Akropolis regularly appears in unconventional settings, including performances in office spaces in Detroit as part of its Chamber Music America Residency Partnership in January, 2017. In May, 2016 Akropolis conducted a live recording session featuring audience participation for John Steinmetz’s Sorrow and Celebration for reed quintet and audience, which Akropolis commissioned in 2014.

Akropolis delivers passionate, energized, and unforgettable performances on a variety of series both traditional and adventurous in nature. All Akropolis events include informative musical introductions and a chance to greet the artists. Originating at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Akropolis remains Tim Gocklin (oboe), Kari Landry (clarinet), Matt Landry (saxophone), Andrew Koeppe (bass clarinet), and Ryan Reynolds (bassoon). Akropolis is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to make a difference in the classical music landscape “through engaging performances, new music advocacy, and enriching educational experiences.”

(723 words, Feb. 2017, Ariel Artists. Please discard previously dated materials and contact Reynard Hulme, rey@arielartists.com , before making any alterations or cuts.)

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    Gershwin, An American in Paris arr. Raaf Hekkema (live)

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    Marc Mellits, Splinter (Live)

    I – Scarlet Oak

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    II – Sugar Maple

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    III – Linden

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    IV – Black Ash

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    V – Cherry

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    VI – River Birch

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    VII – Weeping Willow

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    VIII – Red Pine

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    Kurt Weill, Threepenny Suite (live)

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    Ton ter Doest, Circusmuziek 1, 3, 4, and 7 (Live, Fischoff Competition 2014)

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    Jean-Philippe Rameau, Nouvelle Suite for Harpsichord in A Minor (Live)

    I – Allemande

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    II – Fanfarinette

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    III – Sarabande

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    IV – Les Trois Mains

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    Charles Ives, Variations on America

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    Roger Zare, Variations on Reverse Entropy (Live, Fischoff Competition 2014)

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    Programs

    2017/18 Program Offerings

    • 18/19 PREVIEW

      With works by Bernstein, Ives, Gershwin, Muhly, Steinmetz, Ellington, Kapustin, Biedenbender, Mellits, Meijering

    • The Space Between Us

      Rob Deemer, Gregory Wanamaker, David Biedenbender, John Steinmetz, Jacob TV

    • Under the Influence

      Rameau, Gershwin, Marc Mellits, and David Biedenbender

    • These American Stories

      Ellington, Ives, Gershwin, Gregory Wanamaker, John Steinmetz

    • Salvaged

      Rameau, Nico Muhly, Jacob TV, David Biedenbender, Marc Mellits

    Current & Recent Programs

    • The Space Between Us

      Rob Deemer, Gregory Wanamaker, David Biedenbender, John Steinmetz, Jacob TV

    • Pulse

      Gershwin, Asaf Peres, Jason Turbin, Garrett Schumann, Vladimir Tošić, John Leszczynski, Jacob TV

    • Unraveled

      Paul Dooley, Robbie McCarthy, Jason Turbin, Roger Zare, Ton ter Doest, John Leszczynski, Rob Deemer

    • History of Reverse Entropy

      Gershwin, Jason Turbin, Debussy, Ravel, Roger Zare, Paul Dooley, Robbie McCarthy, Elliott Bark, Ton ter Doest

    • Mad Music

      J.P. Rameau, Babur Tongur, David Heetderks, Chiel Meijering, Schumann

      Projects & Collaborations

      On the Town

      Additional Offerings

      • The Best Story (Elementary School)

        "Energy" and "excitement" are the words most commonly used to describe an Akropolis presentation. Akropolis makes music interactive!

      • Chamber Music Infusion (Middle and High School)

        Akropolis introduces students to the joy, complexity, and power of chamber music as a vehicle for engaging and encouraging students to expand and enrich their musical studies.

      • Akropolis WORKS (University)

        An immersive entrepreneurial residency program for university music programs combining collaborative performances with lectures and workshops surrounding the business of chamber music.

      • Pop-Up Concerts

        Akropolis performs while on the move in your community!