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The Mind Over Finger Podcast

May 1, 2019

Today’s guest in this third episode of the Fischoff Effect series is Matt Landry from the Akropolis Reed Quintet.  In this series, I bring you five former winners of the Fischoff competition to talk about their experience preparing for and competing at Fischoff, and about the wonderful adventures and opportunities that have followed their win!

My guests this week are Blaise Magniere from the Avalon String Quartet, Dorival Puccini from Axiom Brass, Matt Landry from the Akropolis Reed Quintet , Christopher Whitley from the Thalea String Quartet, and Lydia Reah from the former Kairos String Quartet! 

Whether you are a musician about to compete at the competition, or a music lover looking for a fresh approach to practicing and preparing for a concert, make sure to subscribe and tune in everyday, because those conversations are bursting with inspiration and EXTREMELY useful information!  Each group has a unique and motivating story and my guests are so generous with their insightful tips and advice! 


About Fischoff

Founded in 1973 in South Bend, Indiana, the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition has grown to become the largest chamber music competition in the world, attracting the finest and most talented young musicians from around the globe. and is one of the most prestigious classical music prizes attainable today. Since its founding, more than 6,000 musicians have participated, many of whom have gone on to distinguished careers in music performance and education.  Fischoff is also deeply committed to music education and partners with competition alumni to bring free, innovative Arts-in-Education programs directly to children in their own schools and community centers. Since 1995, nearly 50,000 children, youth and adults have received free educational programming of the highest order.






Meet the Akropolis Reed Quintet – 2012 Senior Wind Division Silver Medal, 2014 Senior Wind Division Gold Medal, & 2015 Fischoff Educator Award

Kari Landry, clarinet | Andrew Koeppe, bass clarinet | Ryan Reynolds, bassoon | Matt Landry, saxophone | Tim Gocklin, oboe





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, including the 2014 Fischoff Gold Medal and the 2015 Fischoff Educator Award. Akropolis is an alumnus of APAP’s prestigious Young Performer’s Career Advancement Program and is generously supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, CultureSource, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Chamber Music America, Alice M. Ditson Fund, Amphion Foundation, High Wire Lab, and Quicken Loans.

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. The season also features a 10-show, choreographed and staged production with BodyVox Dance in Portland, OR and Akropolis’ 3rd annual Together We Sound festival in Detroit featuring a multimedia collaboration with Detroit projection artist, L05 (Carlos Garcia).

Akropolis’ recent and upcoming appearances includes stops at Caramoor, Chamber Music Northwest, the Oneppo Series at Yale University, the Chautauqua Institution, Artist Series of Sarasota, Chamber Music Abu Dhabi, Chamber Music Columbus, and more. Akropolis has been awarded a juried showcase at APAP (YPCA), Chamber Music America twice, Performing Arts Exchange, Western Arts Alliance, and the Mid-Atlantic Performing Arts Market. With three studio albums, including its March 2017 release of The Space Between Us, called “pure gold” by the San Francisco Chronicle, Akropolis has recorded 17 original reed quintet works.

Akropolis’ 2018 Together We Sound festival featured an improvisatory new work with YAK and a concert with acclaimed soprano Shara Nova. 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 Miró Quartet and renowned clarinetist David Shifrin. Akropolis has even performed with HarperCollins published author and scientist, Vic Strecher. In April 2017, Akropolis’ residency in Abu Dhabi featured a performance of Marc Mellits’ Splinter with original Arabic poetry performed by Khalifa University students, written around Mellits’ music.

Establishing Akropolis WORKS in 2016, Akropolis’ members teach an annual 7-week music business mini-course at the University of Michigan as well as two semester-long courses at Michigan State University. They have delivered WORKS lectures to university musicians around the United States on marketing, financial planning, brand identity, and more. Equally committed to students K-12, Akropolis reached over 10,000 K-12 students in 2018. They conduct an annual school year long residency with students at three Detroit high schools including chamber music and music composition.

Winner of a coveted Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Grant, Akropolis has premiered more than 50 works from composers in 7 countries and was selected to adjudicate and premiere the 2018 Barlow Prize funded by the Barlow Endowment, the first time the prize was given for a reed quintet work. Akropolis’ members are the first of any reed quintet to judge major chamber music competitions including the Fischoff (2018) and Chamber Music Yellow Springs (2019) competitions. Akropolis produces a YouTube Web Premiere Series with more than 50,000 views, showcasing new works, arrangements, and composer interviews for a live Internet audience. In 2012 Akropolis created Akropolis Collection and has now sold over 400 original and arranged sheet music works to more than 100 new and established reed quintets.

Akropolis regularly appears in unconventional settings, including performances in office spaces in Detroit as part of its Corporate-to-Corner Tour in January 2017. 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. Akropolis presents its annual Together We Sound festival in Detroit each June, bringing together multidisciplinary collaborators, new works, and educational outreach to increase arts access throughout the city.

Akropolis is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization generously supported by individuals around the world. All Akropolis events include informative musical introductions and a chance to greet the artists. Originating at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Akropolis remains its founding members: Tim Gocklin (oboe), Kari Landry (clarinet), Matt Landry (saxophone), Andrew Koeppe (bass clarinet), and Ryan Reynolds (bassoon).

Akropolis is represented exclusively by Ariel Artists. Contact Matthew Kulas at for booking.


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Most sincere thank you to composer Jim Stephenson who graciously provided the show’s musical theme!  Concerto #1 for Trumpet and Chamber Orchestra – Movement 2: Allegro con Brio, performed by Jeffrey Work, trumpet, and the Lake Forest Symphony, conducted by Jim Stephenson.

Also a huge thank you to my producer, Bella Kelly!




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