Celebrating their 15th year as “a sonically daring ensemble who specializes in performing new works with charisma and integrity” (BBC Music Magazine) and a “collective voice driven by real excitement and a sense of adventure” (The Wire), Akropolis has “taken the chamber music world by storm” (Fanfare). As the first reed quintet to twice grace the Billboard Charts (2021, 2022), the untamed band of 5 reed players and entrepreneurs are united by a shared passion: to make music that sparks joy and wonder.

Winner of 7 national chamber music prizes including the 2014 Fischoff Gold Medal, Akropolis performs “works that brilliantly exploit their unique instrumentation” (Gramophone). Remaining the same 5 members since their founding in 2009, Akropolis delivers 120 concerts and educational events worldwide each year and has premiered and commissioned over 130 works by living artists and composers.

In November 2023 Akropolis will become the first reed quintet to grace the luminary University Musical Society (UMS) stage, and previously have appeared on Oneppo (Yale University), Chamber Music San Antonio, Phillips Collection (Washington, D.C.), Summerwinds Münster (Germany), Flagler Museum (Palm Beach), and many more. The “rise of the reed quintet” (Chamber Music America) and Akropolis’ “infallible musicality and huge vitality” (Fanfare) make them one of the most sought-after chamber ensembles today.

Experimenters and creators at their core, “there's nothing tentative in their approach, and that extends to their programming of multifariously challenging and imaginative new works” (The Wire). Akropolis has collaborated with poets, a metal fabricator, dancers, small business owners, string quartets, pop vocalists, and more. Currently, Akropolis is collaborating with GRAMMY-nominated pianist/composer Pascal Le Boeuf and drummer Christian Euman on their 6th album and touring program drawing classical and jazz idioms together to reflect on American identity, entitled, Are We Dreaming the Same Dream?

Akropolis’ chief collaborators are youth and their Detroit community. Winner of the 2015 Fischoff Educator Award and a nonprofit organization which has received 7 consecutive grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Akropolis runs a summer festival in Detroit called Together We Sound and holds an annual, school year long residency at Cass Tech, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Detroit School of Arts high schools. Akropolis believes anyone can compose great music and during their 22-23 season premiered and recorded more than 30 works by youth aged 12-22 alone.

An engine perpetually generating new sounds and ideas, Akropolis’ 23-24 season will include world premieres by Derrick Skye and Stephanie Ann Boyd; performances of Are We Dreaming the Same Dream? with 2-time Grammy-nominated composer/pianist Pascal Le Boeuf and drummer Christian Euman; imaginative renditions of music by Ravel and Gershwin; and the release of their 6th full length commercial album on the Bright Shiny Things label.

The “pure gold” (San Francisco Chronicle) Akropolis Reed Quintet performs worldwide and is represented exclusively by Ariel Artists. They come to you with joy and wonder, ready to be unleashed.




Maurice Ravel (arr. Raaf Hekkema) – Le Tombeau de Couperin 

Omar Thomas – Moods and Attitudes

- Intermission -

Derrick Skye – Title TBD commissioned with support of the Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Fund 

George Gershwin – An American in Paris 

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 new work by West African-inspired composer Derrick Skye with George Gershwin’s seminal An American in Paris

Together We Sound

Stephanie Ann Boyd – Courage Was the Fashion

Annika Socolofsky – so much more

- Intermission -

Steven Snowden – Sprocket

Jeff Scott – Homage to Paradise Valley 

Akropolis believes that music reaches its height when it is driven by spontaneity and organically developed relationships with community members. Supported by consecutive grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Akropolis has collected projects it commissioned as part of its Together We Sound festival in Detroit into one concert program, featuring percussion and spoken word collaborators from the community in which the program 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 Sprocket, originally composed for Akropolis and a rideable percussion bicycle designed and built by Detroit metal artist, Juan Martinez, celebrates Detroit’s long standing “slow ride” cycling culture.

Bebop Won’t Stop

Maurice Ravel (arr. Raaf Hekkema) – Le Tombeau de Couperin

Augusta Read Thomas – Suite from the ballet Forest of Shifting Time

- Intermission -

Omar Thomas – Moods and Attitudes

Jeff Scott – Homage 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, French master Maurice Ravel is paired with modern legend and “true virtuoso composer” (The New Yorker), Augusta Read Thomas, whose music is “always in motion” (Huffington Post), spinning seemingly improvised jazz counterpoints into a ballet suite composed for Akropolis in 2022. The second pairing features works Omar Thomas and Jeff Scott custom-made for the quintet’s tour-de-force ensemble technique and sprawling stylistic contrasts. Between these two works, several new genres are suggested through the influence of a blues shuffle, noir ballad, bebop romp, gospel shout, and more.


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