"UNRAVELED" by Akropolis Reed Quintet

Sunday, February 26, 2 & 4 pm
Smith Theatre, Horowitz Visual & Performing Arts Center



Hailed for their "Imagination, infallible musicality, and huge vitality" (Fanfare), the winners of the 2014 Fischoff Gold Medal and and 2015 Fischoff Educator Award presents an interactive program of colorful music. Combining works by Debussy and Gershwin with the eclectic reed quintet repertoire they have curated over the past 8 years, Akropolis brings unparalleled chemistry and enthusiasm to their unique and dynamic musical medium. Program includes instrument demonstrations, Q&A, and even a short musical game or two.

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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 reed quintet to win a Fischoff Gold Medal in 2014, Akropolis has garnered prizes at five additional competitions since 2011. Widely renowned for their dedication to 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 also received a 2016 Chamber Music America Residency Partnership Grant for work with Detroit businesses.

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 juried showcase participants at APAP, Chamber Music America, and Performing Arts Exchange (PAE). Akropolis will release its third CD, The Space Between Us, in the fall of 2016, following its acclaimed releases, High Speed Reed and Unraveled, resulting in a studio-released catalog of 17 original reed quintet works.

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 Miro Quartet and eminent clarinetist David Shifrin. In 2015 Akropolis performed memorized works with choreography with BodyVox Dance 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 also perform with youth wind ensemble 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 taught a 7-week mini-course at its alma mater, 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. 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 more than 100 original and arranged sheet music works to more than 40 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 and the arts on the whole, Akropolis regularly appears in unconventional settings, including 7 pop-up concerts in 3 days in Marquette, MI in March, 2015.  Akropolis has reached general education students at universities nation-wide through campus-wide performances and jam sessions. Akropolis will even perform in office spaces in Detroit as part of its Chamber Music America Residency Partnership. 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, and will include the audience on its 3rd album, The Space Between Us, which explores the spaces between musicians, audiences, and all our worlds.

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). Akropolis is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation whose mission is to make a difference in the classical music landscape “through engaging performances, advocacy activities, and educational experiences.”