A narrative program of influential music by American composers from the last century of American history, each work tells its story from a different perspective, at a unique moment of realization or imagination. As America has come of age over the past 100 years, so, too, has its music, and through it all, it has maintained a uniquely American vocabulary.
Gershwin's epic tone poem, An American in Paris, is presented alongside present-day music by John Steinmetz, Jeff Scott, Logan Rutledge and original works for Akropolis including Sorrow and Celebration for reed quintet and audience and Point Blank, celebrating the life of Trayvon Martin. With support from the prestigious Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Fund, the program also features acclaimed composer Jeff Scott’s first reed quintet work inspired by And Still We Rise, an exhibit at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, MI, and closes with an arrangement of Nina Simone’s version of Coots/Lewis’ favorite, For All We Know.
Hailed for their “imagination, infallible musicality, and huge vitality” (Fanfare Magazine), Akropolis was founded in 2009 at the University of Michigan and has won seven national chamber music prizes since 2011. Celebrating their 10th anniversary, Akropolis’ 19/20 season features 10 commissions for the ensemble including the first concerto for reed quintet and wind band by Roshanne Etezady, a chamber concerto by Jenni Brandon with guest bassoonist Monica Ellis of Imani Winds, a work for reed quintet and rideable percussion bicycle by Steven Snowden, and more.