Biography

Rozalie Hirs

  • Gouda, Netherlands, 1965
  • Composer • Author

Rozalie Hirs studied piano and voice from age 12 and 17 respectively. She completed a MSc (Master of Science) degree in chemical engineering at the Organic Chemistry Group of David Reinhoudt at Twente University in 1990; this included graduate work in reaction mechanisms and catalysis with Luigi Mandolini at the Universitá La Sapienza in Rome in 1990. During her studies at the Twente University, she sang several roles in opera productions of the Enschedesche Music School (Anima in Cavalieri's ‘Rappresentazione di Anima e di Corpo’ and Soprano in Purcell's ‘King Arthur'), and co-wrote music and lyrics for the New Wave band BOOLEAN in which she was the singer. In 1991 she began studying composition with Diderik Wagenaar at the Royal Conservatoire at the Hague, and classical voice with Eugenie Ditewig at the Utrechts Conservatorium and with Gerda van Zelm at the Royal Conservatoire. Her first poems were published in the literary magazine De Revisor in 1992 upon invitation by Jan Kuijper, poetry editor of the Dutch publisher Querido. In 1995 she won the first prize for poetry at the Pythic Plays in Amsterdam.

From 1994 until 1998, Rozalie Hirs studied composition with Louis Andriessen at the Royal Conservatoire, also taking composition lessons and classes on MusiQuantics with Clarence Barlow. She completed her composition studies at the Royal Conservatoire in 1998. From 1999 until 2002, she studied with Tristan Murail at Columbia University in New York. She received a Fulbright fellowship (1999-2000) for studies at Columbia University, and stipends and fellowships (1999-2002) from Columbia University and the Dutch Fonds voor de Podiumkunsten (1999-2002). She won the Rapaport Composition Prize at Columbia University in 2002. For her DMA dissertation, she received a fellowship from the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds (2003-2005) and research fellowships from the Amsterdam School of the Arts (2005-2007). She received her DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts) degree from Columbia University in 2007. In addition to her main composition studies, she attended the Professional Course for Young Choreographers and Composers at Bretton Hall in 1995, masterclasses with Betsy Jolas at the American Conservatory at Fontainebleau in 1998, the 2002 Compositon and Computer Music Course at IRCAM, and the Musikinstitut Darmstadt the same year. During the academic year 2005/06, Rozalie Hirs was curator of the course ‘Open Music and new compositional techniques’ at the Conservatorium Amsterdam, Netherlands, which she taught in collaboration with the Nieuw Ensemble. The course consisted of public lectures and workshops for composition students by Rozalie Hirs and sessions with the Nieuw Ensemble. Additional lectures and workshops were given by the renowned composers and pedagogues Tristan Murail, Marco Stroppa, Mikhail Malt and Benjamin Thigpen. The publication Contemporary compositional technqiues and ‘Open Music’ (Rozalie Hirs, Bob Gilmore, ed.) appeared as part of the Musique/ Sciences series at IRCAM/ Delatour, France, in 2009. The book includes the essays ‘On Murail's Le lac’ which was part of Hirs’ DMA dissertation for Columbia University, and ‘Frequency-based compositional techniques in the music of Tristan Murail’ providing the most detailed discussion of Murail's work available in Englsih today.

Rozalie Hirs’ recent composition Roseherte (2008) for full orchestra and electroacoustic sounds was premiered by the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and selected for the Toonzetters prize in 2009. Her electro-acoustic composition ‘Pulsars’ (2006, 2007 rev.), commissioned by Café Sonore, VPRO Radio, Netherlands, received the distinction ‘Recommended work’ at the 11th International Rostrum of Electroacoustic Music (IREM) in 2007. Her composition ‘Platonic ID’ (2005, 2006 rev.) for thirteen instruments, was performed by the Asko Ensemble at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam in 2005, and at the Gaudeamus Muziekweek in 2006. A series of solo pieces consists of ‘article 4’ (2004) for violin or viola, respectively premiered by Anna McMichael at the Bethaniënklooster, Amsterdam, in 2004, and by Elisabeth Smalt at MicroFest1, Walton-on-Thames, England, in 2005, ‘article 1 to 3’ (2003) for piano, premiered by Kees Wieringa at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, with additional performances by Dante Oei in Europe and the United States, and ‘article 0’ (2000) for percussionist, premiered by Arnold Marinissen at the Big Bang Festival, Muziekcentrum Vredenburg, Utrecht. ‘Book of mirrors’ (2001) for nineteen instruments (a collaboration with abstract film maker Joost Rekveld) was played by the Asko Ensemble at the Holland Festival 2001. The electronic piece Noise~ (2001) was premiered at the Mediated music festival of TArt, Enschede, Netherlands. Her composition a-book-of-light (2002) for 11 instruments and computer sounds was premiered by Ensemble pp in Munich, Amsterdam and the Hague, and performed by Ensemble Speculum Musicae at Merkin Hall, New York, in 2003. All mentioned pieces were commissioned by the respective first performers and financially supported by the Netherlands Fonds voor de Scheppende Toonkunst. Her composition Sacro Monte for 10 instruments is available on CD in a recording by the Ives Ensemble (NM Classics, Present series 950008, Muziekgroep Nederland, 1999). The CD ‘Platonic ID’ (Attacca 27107, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2007) contains the compositions ‘Platonic ID’, ‘Book of Mirrors’, ‘article 0’, ‘article 1 to 3’ and ‘article 4’ in performances by the Asko Ensemble, Arnold Marinissen, Dante Boon (formerly known as Dante Oei) and Anna McMichael. The CD ‘Pulsars’ with electroacoustic music and text pieces by Rozalie Hirs will appear in 2010 as a co-production of Attacca records and Muziekcentrum Nederland.

Rozalie Hirs is also a poet. Her first poetry book ‘Locus’ was published in 1998 by Querido, Amsterdam, Netherlands, followed by ‘Logos’, ‘Speling’, and ‘Geluksbrenger’ in 2002 and 2005, and 2008 respectively. Rozalie Hirs received an award for her first poetry book ‘Locus’ from the Flemish Literary Fund in 1999, followed by a grant for ‘Speling’ in 2003, as well as grants for ‘Geluksbrenger'in 2004, 2006 and 2007, and her fifth book in 2009. On the recommendation of Cees Nooteboom, Rozalie Hirs received a literature stipend from the Akademie der Künste, Berlin, in 2004. During her stay in Berlin, she translated her poems into German and performed ‘Klangtext, Textklang’ a collaboration with James Fei at the Lange Nacht der Jungen Akademie. She was artist-in-residence at the 7th International Summeracademy 2004 of the Akademie der Künste, where she wrote the poetry for ‘A throw-away coincidence that determined everything’ a collaboration with experimental filmmaker Paul Leyton. She wrote the libretto to the opera ‘The cricket recovers’ with music by Richard Ayres, for the 2005 Aldeburgh Festival, England. At the invitation of Akademie der Künste Berlin, Rozalie Hirs gave poetry creative writing workshops to High school students around Berlin, Germany, during Kunstwelten in 2007, 2008, and 2009.

In 1999, 2003, 2006, and 2009 her work was selected for the anthologies of best poems of the previous year (De 100 beste gedichten van 1998; 2002; 2005; 2008) published by de Arbeiderspers. Other publications include poetry in literary magazines in France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands: Action Poétique, Akzente, Poëziekrant, Tirade, De tweede ronde, de Gids, Lust en Gratie, Parmentier and Dietsche Warande & Belfort. Her poems appeared in the anthologies ‘Flowering inferno’, Philip Elchers, Groningen, Netherlands, 2002, ‘Sprachbuch’, Klett Verlag, Stuttgart, Germany, 2003, ‘Aandacht’ (book and CD), Fokke Wubbolts, Amsterdam, 2003, ‘Bohrmaschine’, Akademie der Künste, Berlin, Germany, 2005, ‘In our own words’, NWE, Cary NC, USA, 2005, ‘234-117’, Rozenbalkon, Ghent, Belgium, 2005, 25 jaar Nederlandstalige poëzie 1980 - 2005, BnM, Nijmegen, Netherlands, 2006, Kastanjegedichten, Passage, Groningen, Netherlands, 2006, Ode aan de Zon, Zonnewende, Lelystad, Netherlands, 2006, Dagkalender van de poëzie 2007, Meulenhoff, Amsterdam, 2006, Dichters in de Prinsentuin, 521/Kleine Uil, Groningen, Netherlands, 2006, Verliefd verloofd getrouwd, Maarten Muntinga, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2007, een lek in het zwijgen: noise -, Watou, Belgium, 2007, Zomersprookjes, Thieme, Delft, Netherlands, 2007, Het geluk van erwtensoep, Davidsfonds, Leuven, Belgium, 2007, Honderd zoenen, Lannoo, Tielt, Belgium, 2008, Dagkalender van de poëzie 2009, Meulenhoff, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2008, 8e Dag van de Poëzie, Landgraaf, Netherlands, 2008, Groot Verzenboek 555 gedichten over leven, liefde en dood, Uitgeverij Lannoo, Tielt, Belgium, 2009, De 100 beste gedichten van 2008, De Arbeiderspers, Amsterdam, 2009, Meesterwerk, Uitgeverij Passage, Groningen, Netherlands, 2009.

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