Celebrating their 16th season as “a sonically daring ensemble who specializes in performing new works with charisma and integrity” (BBC Music Magazine), the Akropolis Reed Quintet comprises five reed players and entrepreneurs unbounded by limits or categorization. Described by The Wire as a “collective voice driven by real excitement and a sense of adventure,” Akropolis has graced the Classical Billboard Charts with each of their last three albums, including #2 in April, 2024. Winner of seven national chamber music prizes including the 2014 Fischoff Gold Medal, Akropolis is known for performing “works that brilliantly exploit their unique instrumentation” (Gramophone). Composed of the same five members that brought about its founding in 2009, Akropolis delivers 120 concerts and educational events worldwide each year and has premiered and commissioned more than 150 works by living artists and composers. Ever since “[taking] the chamber world by storm” (Fanfare), the five Akropolis artists have remained united by a shared passion to make music that sparks joy and wonder.

The ensemble’s 6th album, Are We Dreaming the Same Dream?, with two-time GRAMMY-nominated composer/pianist Pascal Le Boeuf and drummer Christian Euman, was released in April 2024 on Bright Shiny Things. Live performances of Are We Dreaming the Same Dream include University Musical Society, Chamber Music Corvallis at the PRAx Center, and the Williams Center for the Arts. Reflecting the influences of Geri Allen, Dave Brubeck, Charles Mingus and Leonard Bernstein (all of whom explored themes of American unity or disunity), the project probes the idea that diverse strands of experience, more than one unified “dream,” are what define America. 

The quintet’s previous album, Hymns for Private Use (Bright Shiny Things, 2022) ranked in the top 10 on the Classical Billboard Charts, drawing glowing reviews from critics. Featuring works by Nico Muhly and Annika Socolofsky, plus collaborations with 7 small business owners, the album was praised by Textura for both its “resplendent” musical selections and the “exquisite playing” of the quintet. 

Experimenters and creators at their core, the five artists of Akropolis are routinely lauded for their boldness and innovative spirit. As The Wire commented: “There’s nothing tentative in their approach, and that extends to their programming of multifariously challenging and imaginative new works.” Akropolis has collaborated with poets, a metal fabricator, dancers, small business owners, string quartets, pop vocalists, and others from all walks of life.

The quintet is also known for powerful collaborations with youth and others within its Detroit community. Certified as a 510(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Akropolis is the recipient of the 2015 Fischoff Educator Award, as well as seven consecutive grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. The ensemble runs a Detroit-based summer festival called Together We Sound and holds annual, school year-long music composition residencies at Cass Tech, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Detroit School of Arts high schools. Akropolis also produces the Akropolis Chamber Music Institute, a 10-day artist training and mentorship program in Petoskey, MI. With the belief that anyone can compose great music, Akropolis premiered and recorded more than 30 works by youth aged 12-22 during their 2023-2024 season alone.

Described as “pure gold” by the San Francisco Chronicle, Akropolis Reed Quintet performs worldwide and is represented exclusively by Ariel Artists. 




Maurice Ravel Le Tombeau de Couperin arr. Raaf Hekkema

Omar Thomas Moods and Attitudes 

– Intermission –

Derrick Skye A Soulful Nexus

George GershwinAn American in Paris arr. Raaf Hekkema

Over its 15-year history Akropolis has created future masterworks from scratch while reimagining several existing, significant works from the classical canon. This program presents four of these works in two pairs, connecting them with threads spanning 100 years of musical history. When Maurice Ravel composed Le Tombeau de Couperin, jazz was washing over the parlors and salons of France, Europe, and all the Western world. 100 years later, Omar Thomas’ Moods and Attitudes nearly creates a new genre in and of itself, fusing bebop and blues with Akropolis’ tour de force technical mastery. The second pairing compares A Soulful Nexus, heavily influenced by Persian Classical Music and composed by Derrick Skye with support from the prestigious Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning program, with George Gershwin’s seminal An American in Paris

Together We Sound

Stephanie Ann BoydCourage Was the Fashion

Annika Socolofskyso much more

– Intermission –

Harriet Steinke Mass

Jeff ScottHomage to Paradise Valley

Every work on this program has been commissioned by Akropolis and made possible with support of the National Endowment for the Arts. Akropolis believes that music reaches its height when it is driven by spontaneity and organically developed relationships with community members. These works were premiered at Akropolis’ Together We Sound festival in Detroit and the program features a spoken word collaborator from the community in which the concert is performed. Optional video by filmmaker XUAN is available to accompany Annika Socolofsky’s so much more, a touching composition including interviews with 7 small business owners from Detroit, Kansas, Colorado, and North Carolina. Homage to Paradise Valley tours Detroit’s now-lost Black Bottom and Paradise Valley neighborhoods accompanied by poetry by Detroit author Marsha Music, while Mass, commissioned for Akropolis’ 2025 festival, celebrates the faith and unity brought to Detroit by the immigrant communities which founded it, highlighting the acoustic resonance of Akropolis’ ensemble in gathering spaces.

**This program is comprised of 4 commissioned works by Akropolis with support of the NEA, and also features two works commissioned with support of the Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning program.

Bebop Won’t Stop

George GershwinAn American in Paris

Omar ThomasMoods and Attitudes

– Intermission –

Augusta Read ThomasBebop Riddle IV

Jeff ScottHomage to Paradise Valley 

Continuing their multi-year exploration into the influence of jazz on modern American music, the Detroit-based Akropolis Reed Quintet celebrates the inseparable link between the jazz and classical idioms. On the first set, Gershwin’s An American in Paris, composed during the height of the 1920s jazz explosion, is paired with Omar Thomas’ Moods and Attitudes, commissioned by Akropolis nearly 100 years later and influenced by nearly a century’s work of jazz styles, including shuffle, ballad, gospel, and bebop. The second set opens with Augusta Read Thomas’ music – “always in motion” (Huffington Post) – spinning seemingly improvised jazz counterpoints into her Bebop Riddle IV, composed for Akropolis in 2023. Akropolis closes with Jeff Scott’s Homage to Paradise Valley (2019), commissioned by Akropolis with support of the prestigious Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning program, celebrating Detroit’s African American musical and cultural history and commemorating the Black Bottom and Paradise Valley neighborhoods. 


K-12 Education

Winner of the 2015 Fischoff Educator Award, Akropolis has engaged more than 40,000 youth during its 13-year history, including an annual, yearlong residency at three high schools in their home Detroit community. As an independent nonprofit they have received grants from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, and many individuals nationwide to support their educational programming, which comprises a noteworthy portion of their activity. 

Akropolis delivers fast-paced and informative workshops, including its “The Best Story” presentation for elementary schools, featuring a musical reenactment of the Eileen Spinelli children’s book. At the middle and high school level, Akropolis gives performances, coachings, Q&A's, and offers a side-by-side band concerto by Peter Terry. 

“I am in awe of your genius in this educational arena and excited for all the young lives that you will impact and change because you are first and foremost extraordinary artists who are bringing that excellence and meticulous preparation and execution to the educational arena.”

-Kathy Soroka, Allegheny RiverStone Center for Arts Education

Community Engagement

Akropolis believes that "quality" in classical music comes not only from the technical competency of the performers, but of the relevance an artist creates within their community. To do this, Akropolis engages their communities nationwide through experiences informed by the communities they serve. This includes collaborating with community members on new musical works, including so much more, featuring interviews with local business owners, and Sprocket, featuring a rideable percussion bike created by scrap metal artist, Juan Martinez. They commissioned new work from Detroit poet Marsha Music, and in their travels have performed with guest percussionists in several communities. 

Akropolis has performed at dozens of workplaces during its Detroit Workplace Concert Series, including hospitals, factories, tech companies, and more. They have performed in juvenile detention centers, homeless shelters, development centers, and senior care centers. They have given dozens of outdoor performances at parks and other pop-up locations, including grocery stores and farmers markets. They have given house concerts, backyard concerts, and concerts on river walks and bike paths.   

Each concert is custom-designed with community input and shaped to reflect the vibrancy of the community. 

Akropolis Mastermind (University)

Based on Akropolis' 8 year of experience teaching and entrepreneurship and career development, including courses at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance and the Michigan State University College of Music, Akropolis created Akropolis Mastermind in 2019 and since then have engaged 22 early career artists and over 80 participants in this weeklong career development workshop. 

Please visit to read the testimonials from these participants' experiences. 

At the university level, Akropolis provides customized workshops derived from their Mastermind, including sessions on health and sustainability, marketing/branding, financial planning, project development, and more. 

Akropolis also delivers inspiring master classes, reads and premieres works by student composers, and has even collaborated with college students in performance. 



“a wonderfully fresh sound”
- Kate Wakeling, BBC Music Magazine
“sheer musical imagination”
- Laurence Vittes, Gramophone
“Faultless detail and refreshing artistry. A true joy to sit and listen to, [Akropolis] will leave you transfixed long after the final note.”
- Stephanie Ann Boyd, I Care if You Listen
“A collective voice driven by real excitement and a sense of adventure. There's nothing tentative in their approach, and that extends to their programming of multifariously challenging and imaginative new works.”
- Julian Cowley, The Wire
“Pure gold, shot through with tenderness and grace.”
- Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle
“Here is range, here is agility and grace”
- Max Christie, The Whole Note
“The ensemble has taken the chamber music world by storm. The performance standards of Akropolis are award winning for a reason.”
- Natalie Szabo, Fanfare Magazine
“The esteemed players balance powerful, adventurous and haunting moments that cultivate chamber sounds like few others would dare to attempt.”
- Tom Haugen, Take Effect
“All of the music is remarkable for the sheer joy that it elicits from the exceptional ARQ musicians Blend, balance, unanimity of pitch and phrasing: all are perfect. The quintet plays with imagination, infallible musicality, and huge vitality.”
- Ronald E. Grames, Fanfare Magazine
“I am in awe of your genius in this educational arena and excited for all the young lives that you will impact and change because you are first and foremost extraordinary artists who are bringing that excellence and meticulous preparation and execution to the educational arena.”
- Kathy Soroka, Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts