About the ACMI Summer Festival

August 3 - 11, 2024 in Petoskey, MI

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Festival Overview

The Akropolis' Chamber Music Institute at Bay View is a 9-day summer festival bringing together talented composers with innovative chamber performers, located in the picturesque lake shore town of Petoskey, Michigan. ACMI's goal is to help launch your creative career as a 21st century artist through instruction in high-level performance, entrepreneurial thinking, and community collaboration.

For 9 days, the 12 instrumentalists and 4 composers selected will work intensely with Akropolis: living, working, performing side by side, and forming a community as an artistic collective. As chamber music leaders, we can't wait to share this experience with you in one of our favorite places on earth!

Who Should Apply to ACMI?

In ACMI's third year, we are accepting 12 instrumentalists and 4 composers. All applications over the age of 18 (including undergraduates, graduates, and professionals) are welcome to apply. There is no upper age limit. We capped the total participants at 16 to create an intimate, highly individualized residency experience with the most access possible to Akropolis.

Individual Instrumentalists
The following instrumentalists are encouraged to apply! If you do not see your instrument or discipline in the following list, please send us an email at info@akropolisquintet.org and we'd be happy to consider your application. The following instrumentalists are encouraged to apply:

Bb Clarinet
Bass Clarinet
Saxophone (Alto, Soprano, Tenor, Bari)
French Horn

Undergraduate, graduate, and professional level composers are encouraged to apply! If you are currently a student, a concentration or degree pursuit in composition is encouraged for applicants, but not required.

Pre-Formed Ensembles
ACMI encourages applications from pre-formed chamber ensembles. Pre-formed ensembles are also guaranteed a world premiere commission from one of the 4 selected ACMI composers. At this time, we are not able to offer a group tuition pricing, so each individual member would each be responsible for the individual ACMI tuition rate. Members of a pre-formed ensemble are eligible for individual scholarships.

Working with Akropolis

As a "sonically daring ensemble" with a "wonderfully fresh sound" (BBC Music Magazine) we have won several national competitions and twice graced the Billboard Charts, all in an ensemble type that has virtually no precedent in classical music. We found our voice through the reed quintet, and we've never looked back. Since our founding 15 years ago, Akropolis has fielded thousands of individuals' questions about how to succeed in classical and contemporary music and we have given more than 300 master classes, coachings, and entrepreneurship workshops at colleges and universities of all stripes.

As leaders in the chamber music community, ACMI is our opportunity to help the next generation of artists stand out in this incredibly niche and competitive field. This is the festival WE would have wanted to attend as early career new music chamber musicians, and we want to help you have a vibrant, impactful, and artistically fulfilling career. Our goal is to help you thrive and make your artistic mark! If we can do it as an ensemble that started as nothing more than an undergraduate reed quintet, so can you.

A Typical Day at ACMI

The Bay View environment mirrors life as a professional independent artist and is modeled after how Akropolis has worked and grown together for the last decade. Each day offers a balance of coaching, rehearsal, composing, practice, creative brainstorming and actualization, and personal free time. Akropolis values individual free time as much as rehearsal time, and will place a heavy emphasis on participants having as much time to refresh and recharge as they do to better themselves and their craft.

As an example, a typical performer day would be:

  • Free time (e.g. practice, meditation, or a walk)
  • Breakfast
  • Private lesson or career development conversation with Akropolis / chamber rehearsal
  • Lunch
  • Free time (afternoon beach, sun, physical exercise, etc.)
  • Recording session / rehearsal
  • Dinner
  • Free time (attend a live performance, visit Petoskey, etc.)

As an example, a typical composer day would be:

  • Free time (e.g. sketches, meditation, or a walk)
  • Breakfast
  • Composition time / career development conversation / workshopping your music with Akropolis
  • Lunch
  • Free time (afternoon beach, sun, physical exercise, etc.)
  • Recording session / rehearsal / or workshop of your music
  • Dinner
  • Free time (attend a live performance, visit Petoskey, etc.)

About the Bay View Music Festival

ACMI is housed within the Bay View Music Festival, the longest continuously operating chamber music festival in the United States, situated at the heart of one of the country's most beautiful resort areas and Chautauquas.

We are proud to be partnering with this historic festival. Located on the shore of Lake Michigan’s Little Traverse Bay in northern Michigan, the Bay View community is situated at the heart of one of the United States’ most beautiful resort areas. Students find the natural beauty of the area, the experience and dedication of the artists, and the warm support of the community a wonderful and rewarding experience. The Festival lays claim as the longest continuously operating chamber music festival in the United States and continues to impress the college and post-college students year after year who come seeking additional training, perspective, refreshment, and the inspiration needed to pursue a career in the arts. We are delighted to report that graduates of the program, much like the faculty, are actively involved in the performing arts all over the world as soloists, ensemble members, administrators, and faculty.

Visit https://www.bayviewassociation.org/performingarts/musicfestival/ to learn more.

Application to ACMI must be done here at https://akropolisquintet.org/acmi, not on the Bay View website. 

What Performers Will Do at ACMI

ACMI provides unparalleled opportunities to learn, perform, and collaborate while soaking in the sandy beaches and beauty of Northern Michigan.

The 12 instrumentalists accepted will receive:

  • The opportunity to work in chamber ensembles, including performing side-by-side with at least one Akropolis member
  • Lessons and coachings with Akropolis
  • Multiple performance opportunities
  • The opportunity to give the world premiere performance of a new work created by one of the ACMI composers
  • Recordings of all performances
  • Individualized entrepreneurship and career development sessions
  • Lifelong relationships and professional connections with participant and Akropolis colleagues

What Composers Will Do at ACMI

Having commissioned and premiered over 150 works, Akropolis would not exist without living composers and their unique voices. In building this festival, we not only wanted to have chamber music at ACMI’s heart, but new music as well. The 4 composers in-residence at ACMI will create a new work for Akropolis which will be extensively workshopped at ACMI and premiered during the 24/25 season, as well as a new work for the ACMI instrumentalists which will be premiered at ACMI.

The 4 composers accepted will receive:

  • A live premiere of their newly composed work by an ACMI artist ensemble participating in the festival
  • A live world premiere of their new work for Akropolis during Akropolis' 24/25 season
  • Workshops with Akropolis on both works
  • A high quality audio and video recording of the work created for ACMI fellows
  • Dedicated composing time
  • One-on-one consultations with Akropolis
  • A private lesson with guest faculty, Jeff Scott
  • The opportunity to share and discuss music and concepts with ACMI composers and instrumentalists in formal and informal sessions
  • Individualized entrepreneurship and career development sessions
  • Lifelong relationships and professional connections with participant and Akropolis colleagues

 Participant Testimonials


"The chamber intensive was an amazing opportunity to collaborate with a high level of chamber players and composers. Spending time with the other attendees alongside Akropolis was an experience that was extremely musically rewarding and personally uplifting. I am truly grateful for this experience."

~ACMI Instrumentalist

"ACMI was a week of wonderful network building and a truly lovely way to end the summer! The Akropolis members were incredibly welcoming, supportive, and an absolute joy to work with and learn from."


"As a student, sometimes it can seem like quite a mystery as to how the professional musicians make the magic happen. It almost seems taboo to ask the master’s about their processes. Fortunately, for the 13 young artists selected to participate in the inaugural ACMI festival, we were given the enlightening chance to explore rehearsing, performing, and commissioning in tandem with the members of the Akropolis Quintet. I am grateful to have had this opportunity to peer into the world of professional chamber music in conjunction with five of the most authentic, honest, kind, and fun musicians I have met (not forgetting to mention their monster skills on their instruments, of course)."

~ACMI Instrumentalist

"ACMI is a fantastic experience for anyone looking to go into new music. The musicians I met here will be lifelong friends and collaborators, and the members of Akropolis were kind and incredibly helpful mentors."


"I had a wonderful time at ACMI. My one-on-one meetings with Akropolis were very helpful. I got hear the music I had written during the week played live, and could keep writing with their suggestions and guidance. They helped me understand their instruments better as well. I also loved getting to know the other musicians and composers at the festival, and I've made friends that I can continue collaborate with in the future! It was a great experience, and I'm very glad I got to work with these wonderful musicians!"

~ACMI Composer

"An amazing experience in collaboration and high level chamber music, ACMI provides an opportunity to connect with other young professionals and create meaningful works and performances in a very short amount of time!"


"I found myself at the Akropolis Chamber Music Institute developing lasting professional connections (not just acquaintance level meet and greet), gaining additional resources as I go about my career, and performing/rehearsing in new ways along with Akropolis members and other participants. The recordings we did are a culmination of all of this hard work in addition to lasting connections and experiences we can draw from."

~ACMI Instrumentalist

"ACMI was a unique and inspiring experience that reaffirmed my love of chamber music and gave me a lot of valuable insight into what it takes to form and sustain a professional chamber ensemble. It was an amazing make lasting connections with young emerging composers and other instrumentalists who are equally passionate about contemporary music."




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