The Akropolis Reed Quintet takes listeners on extraordinary musical adventures, performing an innovative repertoire with acclaimed precision. Founded in 2009 at the University of Michigan and the first ever reed quintet to win the Fischoff Gold Medal in 2014, Akropolis took Grand Prize at the MTNA and Plowman chamber music competitions consecutively in 2011, and has garnered prizes at three additional national competitions. Championing the next generation of maverick musicians, Akropolis is also winner of the 2015 Fischoff Educator Award, delivering impactful outreach at schools ranging from kindergarten to conservatory. Akropolis has released two studio albums to critical acclaim and commissioned more than 25 reed quintet works to date. Their dynamic concerts feature accessible contemporary works framed by invigorating arrangements of classical music spanning four centuries.
Akropolis has been a resident ensemble at major festivals around the country and abroad, including Summerwinds in Münster, Germany as well as the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings and Juneau Jazz and Classics. Akropolis opens its 2015-16 season at Chamber Music Northwest, premiering the first work for reed quintet and string quartet by David Schiff with the eminent Dover Quartet, and collaborating with the BodyVox Dance Company to perform selections with choreography. Akropolis has also appeared at numerous colleges and universities to perform and conduct master classes on commission collaboration, the business of chamber music, and chamber music performance.
Akropolis has commissioned more than 25 adventurous new works from composers around the world, including the United States, Canada, France, the Netherlands, Turkey, Israel, Argentina, and Serbia. Each collaboration involves a unique commissioning project, including High Speed Reed and Unraveled, which comprise Akropolis’ first two full-length albums. Their newest project, The Space Between Us, commissioned four American composers to create works describing the space within music’s aesthetic and social constructs. As part of the project, John Steinmetz created “Sorrow and Celebration”, the first work for reed quintet and audience participation.
Deeply invested in fortifying the reed quintet as a fully-established ensemble type, Akropolis created the first reed quintet consortium of 13 reed quintets from three continents, commissioning American composer Joel Puckett. Akropolis also produces a YouTube Web Premiere Series, showcasing new works, arrangements, and composer interviews for a live Internet audience. Furthering the construction of a new paradigm in chamber music, Akropolis has sold reed quintet sheet music from its online store, Akropolis Collection, to new and established reed quintets around the United States. 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.
Wholly committed to reaching out and fortifying the next generation of music mavericks, Akropolis created the 2013 Fall Education Tour, funded by over $5,000 raised by a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign. The tour visited 10 schools in Michigan serving underprivileged youth or under-funded arts programs. 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.
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, insatiable performance chemistry, and a chance to greet the artists. Originating at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Akropolis remains Tim Gocklin (oboe), Kari Dion (clarinet), Matt Landry (saxophone), Andrew Koeppe (bass clarinet), and Ryan Reynolds (bassoon).
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