POLIN Music Festival: Hashtag Ensemble & Guests

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The Warsaw music cooperative was founded in 2013 by flutist Ania Karpowicz. The members of Hashtag Ensemble have performed seventy-two musical premieres, were granted 103 awards at various competitions as classical music performers, as well as 78 concerts played at both Polish and international music festivals.

  • 17 February (Saturday), 6PM
  • The ticket to Krakauer-Tagg Duo & Hashtag Ensemble concerts

Seeking the present-day Jewish identity in music has led us to the chamber music of the 21st century.

"Art can provide entertainment, but entertainment is no art," says Aviya Kopelman whose Phantom of the Fugue will open the concert. This "post-fugue" does not avoid simple sounds and classical means of expression, but it is enough to get acquainted with Kopelman’s broad scope of interest in order to decipher correctly her sincere lyricism and to appreciate the functional use of klezmer musical scale.

"I wanted to compose pieces that may be entertaining, pieces that people can easily understand," declares Matthew Shlomowitz in an interview with Monika Pasiecznik. His Fast Medium Swing with the use of primitive samples (dog barking, cat miaowing) combines a virtuoso performance with a tongue-in-cheek attitude towards the formal concert hall situation.

A Villa in the Jungle is an interaction between what is considered a norm (Villa) and a musical and social abnormality (Jungle). Tonality of the composition has been distorted by way of extended performative techniques: multifones, microtones, hissing, glissando and tuning the piano. The composer worked on the piece in Tel Aviv: "I was sitting in a cosy café in the trendy Florentin quarter with missile rockets flying over my head. Back then, the problem of 'normality' resounded even louder in my mind, and the answer to the question what is a norm and what isn’t appeared to be more complicated than ever."

The Jewish Pope was inspired by the legend of a boy led out of the ghetto and brought up in a church. The rearing process turned out so effective that the Jewish boy was eventually elected a pope. However, he rejected the honor and returned to his people. The piece was composed on commission of the Malashock Dance from San Diego. Its premiere (June 2017) was accompanied by John Malashock’s choreography. The Jewish Pope is the first ever attempt to combine the very personal language of the composer, Judd Greenstein, with the so-called "Jewish scale", the Phrygian dominant scale. Greenstein breaks down the presentation of a folkloristic topic with the use of electric guitar; he then constructs a reckless, virtuoso piece made of changing textures, unique melodics and a transparent form. 

Hashtag Ensemble & Friends:

Ania Karpowicz - piccolo flute
Adam Eljasiński – clarinet
Oliwier Andruszczenko – clarinet
Kamila Wąsik-Janiak – violin
Marta Piórkowska – violin
Aleksandra Demowska-Madejska – viola
Dominik Płociński – cello
Wojtek Błażejczyk - electric guitar
Mateusz Loska – contrabass
Paweł Janas – sampler
Lilka Krych – conductor
gościnnie: Piotr Sałajczyk – piano


  • Aviya Kopelman Phantom of the Fuge
  • Yair Klartag A Villa in the Jungle
  • Matthew Schlomowitz Fast Medium Swing
  • Judd Greenstein The Jewish Pope

The Ensemble focuses on performing classical twentieth- and twenty first-century music. It cooperates closely with Polish composers, extending its repertoire to new names (e.g. Zygmunt Krauze, Hanna Kulenty, Agnieszka Stulgińska, Piotr Tabakiernik, Dariusz Przybylski).

Hashtag Ensemble is engaged in education; it realizes a series of concerts at the Center for Contemporary Art at Ujazdowski Castle as part of the ‘Smykowizje’ project. In 2017 alone, the cooperative played thirty-four concerts for over one thousand families, presenting the music of Lutosławski, Panufnik, Górecki, Penderecki, Schoenberg, Andriessen, Davies, Grisey, Crumb et al, as well as contemporary music.

Hashtag Ensemble is keen on improvisation, which they clearly demonstrated on their debut album titled “Visegrad Songs” (Requiem Records Opus Series, 2015). The V4 material was first performed during the seven concerts promoting the album at POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Salti Hall in Budapest, and the National Philharmonics in Minsk. Hashtag Ensemble also improvised to artworks by visual artists El Sy and Laura Lima. They performed the program of #Witkacy, as a musical commentary of sorts to Witkacy’s self-portraits, part of the “Partytury Fotograficzne” series.

Hashtag Ensemble engages in radical social projects – they play on pots and pans with passers-by, they sing in the middle of the night the rearranged versions of songs of Polish transformation, they improvise in an old water tanker.


POLIN Museum music scene is supported by LOTTO