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.
Akropolis’ impressive list of recent and upcoming appearances include stops at Caramoor, Chamber Music Northwest, the Chautauqua Institution, Artist Series of Sarasota, Chamber Music Abu Dhabi, Chamber Music Columbus, and more. Akropolis has been awarded a juried showcase at APAP (YPCA), Chamber Music America, Performing Arts Exchange, Western Arts Alliance, and the Mid-Atlantic Performing Arts Market. With three studio albums, including its March, 2017 release of The Space Between Us, called “Pure gold” by the San Francisco Chronicle, Akropolis has recorded 17 original reed quintet works.
Akropolis has commissioned more than 25 works from composers in 7 countries, and was selected to adjudicate and premiere the 2018 Barlow Prize funded by the Barlow Endowment, the first time the prize will be given for a reed quintet work. Akropolis produces a YouTube Web Premiere Series with more than 40,000 views, showcasing new works, arrangements, and composer interviews for a live Internet audience. In 2012 Akropolis created Akropolis Collection and has now sold over 140 original and arranged sheet music works to more than 30 new and established reed quintets.
Establishing AkropolisWORKS in January 2016, Akropolis’ members teach an annual 7-week mini-course at the University of Michigan as well as a semester-long course at Michigan State University titled, “The Self-Managed Music Career”, and have 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. Continuing this effort, Akropolis will reach more than 6,000 K-12 students during its 17/18 season alone.
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 even performed with HarperCollins published author and scientist, Vic Strecher. In April, 2017, Akropolis’ residency in Abu Dhabi featured a performance of Marc Mellits’ Splinter with original Arabic poetry performed by Khalifa University students, written around Mellits’ music.
Akropolis regularly appears in unconventional settings, including performances in office spaces in Detroit as part of its Corporate to Corner Tour 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 will present its first 5sounds Festival in Detroit in May, 2018, bringing together multidisciplinary collaborators, new works, and educational outreach to create greater arts access throughout the city.
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 its founding members: Tim Gocklin (oboe), Kari Landry (clarinet), Matt Landry (saxophone), Andrew Koeppe (bass clarinet), and Ryan Reynolds (bassoon).
(667 words, July 2017, Ariel Artists. Please discard previously dated materials and contact Reynard Hulme, firstname.lastname@example.org , before making any alterations or cuts.)
Gershwin, An American in Paris arr. Raaf Hekkema (live)
Marc Mellits, Splinter (Live)
I – Scarlet Oak
II – Sugar Maple
III – Linden
IV – Black Ash
V – Cherry
VI – River Birch
VII – Weeping Willow
VIII – Red Pine
Kurt Weill, Threepenny Suite (live)
Ton ter Doest, Circusmuziek 1, 3, 4, and 7 (Live, Fischoff Competition 2014)
Jean-Philippe Rameau, Nouvelle Suite for Harpsichord in A Minor (Live)
I – Allemande
II – Fanfarinette
III – Sarabande
IV – Les Trois Mains
Charles Ives, Variations on America
Roger Zare, Variations on Reverse Entropy (Live, Fischoff Competition 2014)
2018/19 Program Offerings
- Running Wild
Marc Mellits, Ned McGowan, Rob Deemer, John Steinmetz, Chiel Meijering
- The Space Between Us
Rob Deemer, Gregory Wanamaker, David Biedenbender, John Steinmetz, Jacob TV
- Under the Influence
Muhly, Gershwin, Marc Mellits, Bernstein, and David Biedenbender
- These American Stories
Bernstein, Ives, Gershwin, Muhly, John Steinmetz, Ellington
Current & Recent Programs
Rameau, Nico Muhly, Jacob TV, David Biedenbender, Marc Mellits
- Newspapers of the Soul
Handel, Schumann, Debussy, Poulenc, Robbie McCarthy, Ton ter Doest
Gershwin, Asaf Peres, Jason Turbin, Garrett Schumann, Vladimir Tošić, John Leszczynski, Jacob TV
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
Projects & Collaborations
- K-12 Outreach
"Energy" and "excitement" are the words most commonly used to describe an Akropolis presentation. Akropolis makes music interactive!
- Community Engagement
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.