|Birth name||Katrien Rozalie Hirs|
7 April 1965 |
|Genres||Contemporary classical, experimental poetry|
Rozalie Hirs studied piano and voice from age twelve and seventeen respectively. For her secondary education, she attended Gymnasium Herkenrath, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, from 1975 until 1979, and Het Nieuwe Lyceum, Bilthoven, Netherlands, from which she graduated in 1983. She subsequently studied chemical engineering at the University of Twente, Enschede, completing her Master of Science degree in 1990. During her science studies she sang leading roles in several opera productions at Muziekschool Enschede, and co-composed and performed songs with her New Wave band Boolean. From 1991 to 1992 she studied classical voice with Eugenie Ditewig at Utrechts Conservatorium, from 1992 to 1994 with Gerda van Zelm at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague.
Music education 
From 1991 until 1998 Hirs studied composition at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague: from 1991 until 1994 with Diderik Wagenaar, from 1994 until 1998 with Louis Andriessen, taking additional composition lessons with Clarence Barlow in her final year. She obtained her Diploma in Musical Composition from the Royal Conservatory of The Hague in 1999.
From 1999 until 2002 she furthered her education in composition with the French Spectralist Tristan Murail at Columbia University, New York, United States. She obtained her Doctor of Musical Arts title from Columbia University in 2007. Her dissertation consisted of the composition Platonic ID, commissioned by Asko Ensemble, and an essay about the compositional techniques Tristan Murail developed for Le lac. In 2002 Hirs took part in the Computer music and composition course at IRCAM, taught by Mikhail Malt (OpenMusic), Benjamin Thigpen (Max/msp), Jean Lochard (Diphone), and Marco Stroppa (OMChroma).
Hirs developed the course OpenMusic and contemporary compositional techniques which she taught in collaboration with Nieuw Ensemble during the 2005-06 academic year at Conservatorium van Amsterdam, Amsterdam School of the Arts. During the 2010-11 academic year, Hirs was Visiting lecturer at the Department of Composition at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London.
Shall I tell you what my ideal is? That I learn how to write a music engaging in a dialogue with the physical and emotional processes of the brain. The music of Rozalie Hirs reveals a love for sound and refined structures, in combination with a classic approach to form characteristic of the Hague School. Her compositional techniques involve research into the workings of sound, psychoacoustic effects and emotion in music. The listening experience itself, however, always remains central to her approach. The uninitiated listener does not need to concern herself with the mathematical skeleton underlying Rozalie Hirs’s music. The composer reveals the soft gleaming skin of sounds in her music and poetry.
Hirs’s compositional techniques reveal a seemingly scientific approach, characterized by the incorporation of psychoacoustic effects, acoustic laws of sounding bodies, as well as mathematical functions. In In LA she uses the psychoacoustic Cocktail party effect (discovered by Colin Cherry in the fifties) as a metaphor of how we remember. In Book of Mirrors and Roseherte she investigates the use of the psychoacoustic effect of hearing combination tones when we are exposed to pitch intervals. The acoustic laws of sounding strings are investigated in article 4 through harmonics and their placements on the string. In Platonic ID Hirs used the ratios mentioned by Plato in the Timaeus (1:2:4:8 and 1:3:9:27) in order to generate her basic harmonic material.
The present music notational system is based on twelve-tone equal temperament, corresponding to semitones, meaning that not all frequencies and pitches may be captured. Expanding the present system to a 24-tone or even 48-tone tempered tuning, corresponding to a resolution of a quarter tone and an eighthtone respectively, will lead to a larger choice of pitches, yet still entails approximation of frequencies into a notational grid (quantification).
Hirs composes her music in a continuum of frequencies. She thus uses the calculated frequencies and other musical parameters to generate electronic sounds as well as the instrumental score performed live. When notating the scores of Book of Mirrors and Roseherte Hirs started out approximating the frequencies to the nearest halftone. During the creative process of composing Roseherte Hirs decided to approximate into quarter tones. Since then her compositions have been notated in quarter tones.
The electronic sounds in Hirs's compositions are synthesized using the unapproximated frequencies and provide a means of reference for the musician during rehearsal and performance. In this way the role of the electronic sounds is two-fold, both as constituent to the music as well as a reference base for the performer: the electronic sounds shape the overall music and inform the instrumentalist how to adjust the intonation of the written pitches.
On 10 May 1991 Rozalie Hirs presented her poetry for the first time to the public at the student festival for culture De Pythische Spelen, Enschede. She received the third prize for poetry and an invitation by Jan Kuijper, the renowned Amsterdam-based Querido’s principal poetry editor at the time. In 1992 Hirs’s poetry debut was published by the literary magazine De Revisor. In 1995 she was awarded the first prize for poetry at De Pythische Spelen, Amsterdam. Querido published her first poetry book Locus in 1998, followed by Logos (2002), Speling (Leeway, 2005), Geluksbrenger (Lucky Charm, 2008), and gestamelde werken (work in stuttering, 2012). Her work was selected for De 100 beste gedichten van 1998, 2002, 2005 en 2008, and appeared in poetry collections, and literary magazines in Belgium, Germany, France, Mexico, and the Netherlands.
In her first poetry book Locus Rozalie Hirs plays with masks. Her poems are monologues of personages stemming from Greek mythology, philosophy, and the Judeo-Christian tradition. In addition we find references to films, plays, and poems: for example, the poem Man Bites Dog refers to the Belgian mockumentary Man Bites Dog (C’est arrivé près de chez vous) from 1992, while the poem Lucifer refers to the eponymous play by Joost van den Vondel from 1654 (and John Milton’s later Paradise Lost). The poet brings her archetypical personalities to life within the critical and formative circumstances, recalling the myth and presenting a new version of the tale. Almost without exception these poems deal with the ambiguity of situations we see ourselves confronted with in the world 
Musical works 
- Book of mirrors, for chamber orchestra (film: Joost Rekveld; 2001)
- Platonic ID, for chamber orchestra (2005–06)
- Roseherte, for symphony orchestra & soundtrack (2007–08)
- Ain, silabar ain, for jazz orchestra (2013)
- Sacro Monte, for ensemble (1997)
- a-book-of-light, for ensemble & soundtrack (2003)
- Little whale and the ice, for ensemble (2010)
- Venus [evening star] [invisible] [morning star], for percussion sextet & soundtrack (2010)
- Zenit [north] [east] [south] [west], for string quartet (2010)
- Arbre généalogique, for soprano, ensemble & soundtrack (text: Rozalie Hirs; 2011)
- article 0 [transarctic buddha], for percussion solo (2000)
- Dog Making Kit & Puppy, for soprano, piano, cello & soundtrack (text: Anne Elliott; 2000)
- article 1 to 3 [the] [aleph] [a], for piano solo (2003)
- article 4 [map butterfly], for violin solo (or viola solo) (2004)
- article 5 [dolphin, curved time], for soprano solo (text: Rozalie Hirs; 2008)
- article 7 [seven ways to climb a mountain], for bass clarinet & soundtrack (2012)
Spoken voice/ based on own texts 
- Slaaplied voor een duivel, for narrator & music box (1994)
- In LA, for spoken voice sextet (or for spoken voice & soundtrack) (2003)
- A throwaway coincidence that determined everything, for spoken voice & soundtrack (film: Paul Leyton; 2004)
- Klangtext, Textklang, for spoken voice & live electronics, co-composed with James Fei (2004)
- Van het wonder is word, for spoken voice & soundtrack (2005)
- Aan de zon, de wereld, for spoken voice & soundtrack (2006)
- Pulsars, for spoken voice & soundtrack (2006–07)
- Vlinders, gras, for spoken voice quartet (2007)
- Poetry pieces I-III [heaven bleak] [dolphin] [family tree], for spoken voice & soundtrack (2008)
- Curved space, for spoken voice, ensemble & live electronics (2009)
- Bridge of Babel, for spoken voice & soundtrack (2009)
- Sacro Monte (instrumental work; Ives Ensemble), Present, NM Classics, Donemus, Amsterdam (1999)
- In LA (electroacoustic work with text; Rozalie Hirs), Drukkerij Tielen, Boxtel (2003)
- Platonic ID (instrumental works; Asko|Schönberg, Stefan Asbury, Arnold Marinissen, Anna McMichael, Dante Boon, Bas Wiegers), Attacca records, Amsterdam (2007)
- Pulsars (electroacoustic works with text; Rozalie Hirs, Arnold Marinissen), Attacca records/Muziek Centrum Nederland, Amsterdam (2010)
Composition and research 
- R. Hirs, “On Murail’s Le lac”, D.M.A. dissertation, Columbia University/New York, Ann Arbor: ProQuest, 2007.
- R. Hirs, B. Gilmore, eds., Contemporary Compositional Techniques and OpenMusic, Collection Musique/Sciences, Paris: Editions Delatour/IRCAM, 2009. ISBN 978-275-210-080-1
- R. Hirs, "On Tristan Murail's Le lac", Contemporary Compositional Techniques and OpenMusic, Collection Musique/Sciences, Paris: Editions Delatour/IRCAM, 2009. pp 45–89. ISBN 978-275-210-080-1
- R. Hirs, "Frequency-based compositional techniques in the music of Tristan Murail", Contemporary Compositional Techniques and OpenMusic, Collection Musique/Sciences, Paris: Editions Delatour/IRCAM, 2009. pp 93–196. ISBN 978-275-210-080-1
- R. Hirs, "Zeitgenössische Kompositionstechniken und OpenMusic: Murail's Le Lac", Klangperspektiven (herausgegeben von Lukas Haselböck), Wolke Verlag, Hofheim, 2011. pp 119–164. ISBN 978-393-600-081-8
- Locus. Amsterdam: Querido, 1998. ISBN 90-214-6643-0
- Logos. Amsterdam: Querido, 2002. ISBN 90-214-6708-9
- [Speling]. Amsterdam: Querido, 2005. ISBN 90-214-6734-8
- Geluksbrenger. Amsterdam: Querido, 2008. ISBN 978-90-214-3503-9
- gestamelde werken. Amsterdam: Querido, 2012. ISBN 978-90-214-4243-3
- Rozalie Hirs reveals the soft, gleaming skin of sounds in her music and poetry (Rozalie Hirs toont de zachte glimmende huid van klanken in haar muziek en poëzie), Anthony Fiumara, Trouw, 23 februari 2005
- Componist op de voorgrond: Rozalie Hirs, Joep Stapel, Music Center Netherlands, 1 June 2010. Checked 1 December 2012
- Review of Locus: Hirs plays with masks (Hirs speelt met maskers/ Hoor je stem van een andere zijde), Hans Groenewegen, HN Magazine, 15 August 1998
- Interview with Rozalie Hirs (Interview met Rozalie Hirs), Na 600 milliseconden, Remko Ekkers, Poëziekrant 2005/5, Gent, België.
- Website Rozalie Hirs
- Digital Poetry website Lucky Charm, in collaboration with Harm van den Dorpel, 2011
- Digital Poetry website Sightbook, in collaboration with Cox & Grusenmeyer, 2012
- Rozalie Hirs at PennSound
- Rozalie Hirs on YouTube