Akropolis Reed Quintet
Hailed by Fanfare Magazine for their “imagination, infallible musicality, and huge vitality,” the Akropolis Reed Quintet was founded in 2009 at the University of Michigan and has won seven national chamber music prizes since 2011, including the Fischoff Gold Medal, Fischoff Educator Award, Plowman Grand Prize, and MTNA Grand Prize. Akropolis has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, New Music USA, Chamber Music America, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, CultureSource, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Alice M. Ditson Fund, Amphion Foundation, High Wire Lab, and more. Akropolis delivers over 120 annual performances including ticketed recitals, K-12 outreach, and community residency activities. Akropolis’ 2019-20, 10th anniversary season featured 10 commissions for the ensemble including Storm Warning, the first concerto for reed quintet and wind band by Roshanne Etezady; CANE, by Jenni Brandon with guest bassoonist Monica Ellis of Imani Winds; Homage to Paradise Valley by Jeff Scott with support from the Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Fund, celebrating the history of Detroit’s razed Black neighborhoods and including new poetry by Marsha Music; and Sprocket, a work for reed quintet and rideable percussion bicycle by Steven Snowden. Akropolis will release their 4th album, Ghost Light, on New Focus Recordings on April 9, 2021, including all-original works composed for Akropolis by 2018 Pulitzer Prize finalist, Michael Gilbertson, as well as Niloufar Nourbakhsh, Stacy Garrop, Jeff Scott, and Theo Chandler. Akropolis has collaborated with Grammy-nominated pianist and composer Pascal Le Boeuf, and Christian Euman, touring drummer for Grammy Award-winning artist Jacob Collier, on an audio/video project entitled “All Consuming,” featuring a new music video and 20-minute studio recording, highlighting changing American identity through the lens of consumerism. Akropolis is collaborating with BodyVox Dance on a full-length music and dance production celebrating the 1920s and the fight for suffrage. In June 2021 they will premiere a new work by Annika Socolofsky in collaboration with video artist, XUAN, celebrating diversity in small businesses around America. Akropolis has previously collaborated with Shara Nova, David Shifrin, Jennifer Frautschi, the Dover Quartet, YAK, New Music Detroit, HarperCollins-published author and scientist, Vic Strecher, Arabic language poets Abdulrahman Alhumairy and Saeed AlMehrzi, and others. The San Francisco Chronicle dubbed Akropolis’ recent third album release, The Space Between Us, “pure gold.” Akropolis’ discography has been aired around the United States including WNYC New Sounds, WQXR, and WRCJ Detroit. They have given live performances on WFMT Chicago, Performance Today, and more. Akropolis has premiered more than 100 new works by professionals and students alike, and was selected to adjudicate and premiere the 2018 Barlow Prize funded by the Barlow Endowment, the first time the prize was given for a reed quintet work. Akropolis’ members are the first of any reed quintet to judge major chamber music competitions including the Fischoff Junior (2018 and 2021) and Chamber Music Yellow Springs (2019) competitions. Each June in Detroit, Akropolis presents its own 16-event festival, Together We Sound, featuring multidisciplinary collaborators, a workplace concert series, and educational outreach, expanding and diversifying arts access throughout the city. Akropolis’ members teach music business courses at the University of Michigan and Michigan State University, and they have given hundreds of “Akropolis WORKS” workshops to university musicians around the United States. Akropolis also reaches more than 5,000 K-12 students annually, including a school year-long residency with students at three Detroit high schools. Akropolis is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization generously supported by individuals nationwide. Akropolis remains its founding members: Tim Gocklin (oboe), Kari Landry (clarinet), Matt Landry (saxophone), Andrew Koeppe (bass clarinet), and Ryan Reynolds (bassoon).