by Jarrett Hoffman
If the reed quintet were a person, it would be a millennial.
A variation on the wind quintet, with flute and horn jettisoned in favor of saxophone and bass clarinet — reed-brethren of oboe, clarinet, and bassoon — the instrumentation was born as recently as 1985, when five high schoolers in Amsterdam came together to form Calefax. The group gradually amassed a body of repertoire where there was none, and began to spread their musical seed.
One of the groups they inspired to spring up is the Detroit-based Akropolis Reed Quintet — oboist Tim Gocklin, clarinetist Kari Landry, saxophonist Matt Landry, bassoonist Ryan Reynolds, and bass clarinetist Andrew Koeppe — winners of the Gold Medal at the 2014 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, among several national prizes.
Now celebrating their 15th-anniversary season, Akropolis will visit Northeast Ohio next week for a recital on the Tuesday Musical series on November 7 at 7:30 pm at E.J. Thomas Hall.
Their program includes Marc Mellits’s Splinter, Willem Jeths’s Maktub, George Gershwin’s An American in Paris (arranged by none other than Calefax saxophonist Raaf Hekkema), and a recent commission of theirs: Omar Thomas’s Moods and Attitudes, a classical work fueled by the composer’s background in jazz, its movements visiting the genres of blues, ballad, and bebop. Tickets are available here.