Katrien Rozalie Hirs (Gouda, 7 April 1965) is a Dutch composer and poet.


Early Life

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, The Netherlands, from which she graduated in 1983. She subsequently studied chemical engineering at 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 until 1992 she studied classical voice with Eugenie Ditewig at Utrechts Conservatorium, from 1992 until 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, The Netherlands: 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.

She taught Creative Writing courses and workshops at Kunstwelten, Akademie der Künste, Berlin, and Vormstudies, Academy of Architecture, Amsterdam School of the Arts.

Musical compositions

  • article 7 [seven ways to climb a mountain], for bass clarinet and electronic sounds (2012)
  • Arbre généalogique, for soprano, ensemble, and electronic sounds (2011)
  • Venus, for six percussionists and electronic sounds (2010)
  • Zenit, for string quartet (2010)
  • Little whale and the ice, for fourteen instruments (2010)
  • Brug van Babel, electroacoustic work (2009)
  • Curved space, for spoken voice, improvisers, and live processing (2009)
  • Roseherte, for symphony orchestra and electronic sounds (2007-08)
  • article 5 [dolphin, curved time], for solo soprano (2008)
  • Poetry pieces I-III [heaven bleak, dolphin, family tree], for spoken voice and soundtrack (2008)
  • Vlinders, gras, for four spoken voices (2007)
  • Aan de zon, de wereld, for spoken voice and soundtrack (2006)
  • Pulsars, electroacoustic work (2006-07)
  • Source of Blue, for singing pianist (2005)
  • Van het wonder is word, for spoken voice and soundtrack (2005)
  • Platonic ID, for chamber orchestra (2005-06)
  • A throwaway coincidence that determined everything, soundtrack for a film by Paul Leyton (2004)
  • Klangtext, Textklang, for spoken voice and live electronics, co-composition with James Fei (2004)
  • article 4 [landkaartje – la carte géographique – map butterfly], for violin or viola (2004)
  • In LA, for six spoken voices, or one spoken voice and pre-recorded soundtrack (2003)
  • article 1 to 3 [the, aleph, a], for piano (2003)
  • a-book-of-light [incidence, lightproof, iris, lightly], for eleven instruments and electronic sounds (2002, 2003 rev.)
  • For Morton Feldman, electroacoustic work (2002)
  • Book of mirrors, for chamber orchestra (2001)
  • Noise~, electroacoustic work (2001)
  • Europealis – Meeting Point, electroacoustic work, co-composition with Stevko Busch et. al. (2001)
  • Dog Making Kit & Puppy, for soundtrack & soprano, piano, and cello (2000)
  • article 0, for percussionist (2000)
  • The Sea, for voice and soundtrack (1999)
  • Aquarium, soundtrack, video (1999)
  • Well, for jazz voice, two alto saxophones, keyboard, double bass, and drums (1998)
  • Wel gek, for children's choir and baroque ensemble (1998)
  • Sacro Monte, for ten instruments (1997)
  • Invisible Self, for six brass instruments, piano, and bass guitar (1996)
  • Myth of Er, soundtrack and video (1996)
  • Song for Cathy, for voice and four cellos (1995)
  • Schizofonia, electroacoustic work (1995)
  • Yliaster, for violin and piano (1995)
  • Slaaplied voor een duivel, for narrator and music box (1994)
  • Pamwe, for tenor saxophone and two percussionists (1994)
  • Die Parke, for three sopranos (1994)


  • Sacro Monte (instrumental work; Ives Ensemble), Present, NM Classics, Uitgeverij Donemus, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1999
  • In LA (electroacoustic work with text; Rozalie Hirs), Drukkerij Tielen, Boxtel, Netherlands, 2003
  • Platonic ID (instrumental works; Asko|Schönberg, Stefan Asbury, Arnold Marinissen, Anna McMichael, Dante Boon, Bas Wiegers), Attacca records, Amsterdam, 2007
  • Pulsars (electroacoustic work with text; Rozalie Hirs, Arnold Marinissen), Attacca records/Muziek Centrum Nederland, Amsterdam, 2010

Bibliography as composer/researcher

  • R. Hirs, “On Murail’s Le lac”, D.M.A. dissertation, Columbia University/New York, Ann Arbor, Michigan, ProQuest, 2007.
  • R. Hirs, B. Gilmore, eds., Contemporary Compositional Techniques and OpenMusic, Collection Musique / Sciences, IRCAM / Editions Delatour, Paris, 2009

Bibliography as poet

  • Locus, Uitgeverij Querido, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1998
  • Logos, Querido, Amsterdam, 2002
  • [Speling], Querido, Amsterdam, 2005
  • het komt voor (in collaboration with visual artist Marijke van Warmerdam), Uitgeverij 69, Hilversum, 2008
  • Geluksbrenger, Querido, Amsterdam, 2008
  • gestamelde werken, Querido, Amsterdam, 2012

External links

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