Rozalie Hirs

Rozalie Hirs

Rozalie Hirs (photograph: ©2012 Marco Borggreve)

General info

Born 7 april 1965, Gouda
Nationality Netherlands
Profession composer, poet
Lives in Amsterdam
Books Locus, Logos, [Speling], Geluksbrenger, gestamelde werken
Albums Sacro Monte, Platonic ID, Pulsars
Awards Stipends Composition Performing Arts Fund, Stipends Flemish Literature Fund, Chairman of the jury Gaudeamus Music Week, Columbia University fellowships, Fulbright scholarship
Affiliation Singel Uitgeverijen: Querido, Attacca Productions, Donemus Publishing
Influenced by Louis Andriessen, Tristan Murail, Hadewijch, Guillaume de Machaut, Emily Dickinson, Paul Celan, Iannis Xenakis, Friederike Mayröcker, Morton Feldman, Jan Kuijper, Anne Carson
Related to Michel van der Aa, Peter Adriaansz, Richard Ayres, Anneke Brassinga, James Fei, Eva Gerlach, Katharina Rosenberger, Kaija Saariaho, Juliana Spahr, Samuel Vriezen, Miek Zwamborn
Partner Machiel Spaan
Education Columbia University, Royal Conservatory, Twente Univeristy

→ Nederlands

Rozalie Hirs (Gouda, April 7, 1965) is a contemporary Dutch composer and poet. Her poetry and music are lyrical as well as experimental. The principal concerns of her work are the adventure of listening, reading, and the imagination. Her music consists of vocal, orchestral, and electronic compositions. She often combines traditional instruments with electronic sounds. Her poetry includes both printed collections and digital poetry: interactive poems created in collaboration with visual artists, and graphic designers.

Performers of her music include Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Asko|Schönberg, Bozzini Quartet, Klangforum Wien, the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, and Slagwerk Den Haag; she is herself a regular performer of her compositions for voice and electronic sounds, mostly on international festivals. Her music scores are published by Donemus, her CDs by Attacca, her poetry books by Uitgeverij Querido.


0. Introduction
1. Poetry
1.1. Poetry books
1.2. Digital poetry
2. Music
2.1. Orchestral
2.2. Ensemble
2.3. Chamber
2.4. Spoken voice, based on own texts
2.5. Vocal music, based on own texts
2.6. Electroacoustic music
3. Publications
3.1. Solo publications
3.2. Anthologies, magazines
3.3. Column
3.4. Research, software
4. Media
4.1. Interviews
4.2. Essays
4.3. Reviews
5. Biography, distinctions, press photo
5.1. Poetry biography
5.2. Music biography
5.3. Distinctions
5.4. Press photos
6. External links


“Composing music and writing poetry are very closely related for me. By nature I am a dreamer, and while working I see play to be my main activity. The act of creation itself is in the first place intuitive and subconscious, reflection and awareness always follow later in the creative process. I play with the material, with words, sounds, meanings, notes. It’s an attitude that leads to intense experiences. You can only create something new when you take risks. Then the outcome can be a new experience for you as well as for others. Why do we love art? We like to have an experience that we haven’t had before, giving us new insights, or reminding us of something we have felt at some point yet have forgotten about. We wish to learn, get to know something about ourselves, about our world, our emotions, our thought.”

“As long as language exists, poetry is as unavoidable as one’s own life. In the best of cases, poetry and life lead to a beneficial expansion of consciousness. Poetry is language overflowing its boundaries. I think poetry shows our urge towards change, and movement. It’s not in our nature to (be able to) accept the limits of language (or life). A poet openly resists the limits of language. Poetry is a manifesto of resistance.”
More interviews


Rozalie Hirs: gestamelde werken (Amsterdam: Querido, 2012)“The poet Rozalie Hirs is an impressionist who likes to reveal how her work comes about. Instead of merging splinters into a natural whole, she breaks unities down to sparkling shards. What remains is often a stuttering, yet not that of a desperate poet who is not able to word the unsayable. Rather, Hirs tries joyfully to factorize the sayable. Her poetry is contructed through and through, while her starting point often is an experience of the senses, reminding of the Dutch poet Herman Gorter. She writes sensitive verses that ideosyncatically strive for a balance between romanticism and mathematics.”
“An important motif in gestamelde werken is the dawn of a new day, waking up to open your eyes for the light. In the first poem, the eyes set off into the morning like butterflies. In subsequent lines, poppies and cornflowers bloom and dreams are compared with silkworms that go to meet a sun in love. What they spin, however, is not silk but language. As soon as you try to see what it says on the level of words and word groups, you get lost, but if you read the poem out loud a few times, a convincing whole emerges. The second series involves an intriguing process of dismantling and repeated assembly. The material is given by the opening poem.”
“Hirs makes groups of words and sentences flow into one another in such a way that a polysemous stream of language arises. Some lines further on, the human figure is strikingly described as a ‘skin rock of water’. We are at once solid and fluid. The same holds for the poems, thorough constructions that are as ungraspable as water.” Piet Gerbrandy, De Groene Amsterdammer

Poetry books
Uitgeverij Querido, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, published her first book of poetry Locus (1998), followed by Logos (2002), [speling] (Leeway, 2005), Geluksbrenger (Lucky charm, 2008), and gestamelde werken (work in stuttering, 2012). From these books poems were selected for De 100 beste gedichten van 1998, 2002, 2005, 2008, and 2012, published by Meulenhoff in the following years. The poetry books Logos, Geluksbrenger, and gestamelde werken were also transformed into interactive online projects of digital poetry. For a more extensive listing of all published poems view the complete bibliography.

Digital poetry

Curvices Amsterdam app (in collaboration with Cox & Grusenmeyer, Yvan Vander Sanden, Machiel Spaan), 2015. At the occasion of the tenth anniversary of Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ. Read more
Curvices app (in collaboration with Cox & Grusenmeyer, Yvan Vander Sanden, Machiel Spaan), 2013. Commissioned by Musica, Belgium, for Klankenbos. Read more
Sightbook of gestamelde werken (in collaboration with Cox & Grusenmeyer), 2012. Read more
Geluksbrenger online, (in collaboration with Harm van den Dorpel), 2011. Read more
Family Tree app (in collaboration with Harm van den Dorpel), 2006.
Logos online (in collaboration with Matt Lee), 2003. Read more


Rozalie Hirs: Platonic ID (Amsterdam: Attacca Productions, 2007; sleeve design: FokkeWubbolts)“Purified, as if washed clean—that is one way one might characterize the music of Rozalie Hirs (1965). Her work reveals itself with the greatest clarity; she creates a world in a few gestures. Within that world, sonic beauty is of greater importance than the display of technique or structure. Indeed, though Hirs’s points of departure are almost always austere and sober, she permits herself a great measure of intuition. The listener hears a number of associations that occur within the framework of the plot the composer has laid out. This is not to say that the she only works intuitively when constructing her works–quite the contrary. At first hearing, her gestures may seem simple but beneath them refined methods are hidden, rooted in mathematical or physical ideas. The unwary listener need not, in fact, be occupied with the mathematical rules underlying her music. Hirs seems to be most eager to bring about the soft, gleaming skin of sound. Each successive piece becomes more and more soulful and warm-blooded.” Anthony Fiumara, Platonic ID liner notes

Rozalie Hirs: Pulsars (Amsterdam: Attacca Records, 2010; sleeve design: FokkeWubbolts)“‘what is inside? / inside a word you mean?’, are the opening lines of Rozalie Hirs’s text for her electronic composition, Pulsars. Apt words for a composer whose work shows a marked interest in the inner workings of sound and language, on the physical level of acoustics and perception as well as on the level of expression and meaning. In fact, for Hirs, “meaning” itself is a physical phenomenon, always being produced and received by the neurology of our bodies. That makes words physical entities, not only because they are, as sounds, subject to the laws of acoustics, but also because meaning itself is a process that happens within the body, and is therefore produced by nature. Thus it is nature that we can find at work “inside” words. At the same time, of course, meanings are cultural – they are the means by which we communicate. That aspect, too, can be found within the lines quoted: the questions are addressed to a ‘you’. This ‘you’, however, appears only after the main question: what is inside, inside a word? Which might suggest that culture follows nature: the nature of our bodies and our neurology makes it possible for us to have words and meanings, and on the basis of that, culture.” Samuel Vriezen, Pulsars liner notes

• Atlantis ampersand (music, text: Rozalie Hirs; 2015)
• Lichtende drift (2014)
• Ain, silabar ain (2013)
Roseherte (2008, rev. 2014)
• Platonic ID (2006)
• Book of mirrors (film: Joost Rekveld; 2001)

Nadir (2014)
Arbre généalogique (music, poem: Rozalie Hirs; 2011, rev. 2014)
Zenit (2010)
• Venus (2010)
• Little whale and the ice (2010)
• a-book-of-light (2003)
Sacro Monte (1997)

Solo, duo, trio
• Infinity Stairs (2014)
• article 8 [infinity] (2014)
• article 6 [six waves] (2013)
article 7 [seven ways to climb a mountain] (2012)
• article 5 [dolphin, curved time] (music, text: Rozalie Hirs; 2008)
• article 4 [map butterfly] (2004)
• article 1 to 3 [the] [aleph] [a] (2003)
• article 0 [transarctic buddha] (2000)
• Dog Making Kit & Puppy (text: Anne Elliott; 2000)

Spoken voice, based on own texts
• In state of [war] (2013)
Curvices (design, animation: Cox & Grusenmeyer; software design, realization: Yvan vander Sanden; spatial design: Machiel Spaan; 2013)
• Bridge of Babel (2009)
Curved space (2009)
• Poetry pieces I-III (2008)
• Pulsars (2007)
• Vlinders, gras (2007)
• Van het wonder is woord (2005)
• Klangtext, Textklang (music: Rozalie Hirs, James Fei; 2004)
• A throwaway coincidence that determined everything (film: Paul Leyton; 2004)
• In LA (2003)
• Slaaplied voor een duivel (1994)

Vocal music, based on own texts
• Atlantis ampersand (music, text: Rozalie Hirs; 2015)
• Three songs from Curvices: Proofs of Love, Words roll into brightness, This singing of tongues (2013)
Arbre généalogique (2011)
• article 5 [dolphin, curved time] (2008)
• Dog Making Kit & Puppy (text: Anne Elliott; 2000)

Electroacoustic music, with or without instruments or voice
Nadir (2014)
• Infinity Stairs (2014)
Curvices (2013)
• article 6 [six waves] (2013)
article 7 [seven ways to climb a mountain] (2012)
Arbre généalogique (2011)
• Venus (2010)
• Little whale and the ice (2010)
• Bridge of Babel (2009)
Curved space (2009)
Roseherte (2008)
• Poetry pieces I-III (2008)
• Pulsars (2007)
• Van het wonder is woord (2005)
• Klangtext, Textklang (music: Rozalie Hirs, James Fei; 2004)
• Dog Making Kit & Puppy (text: Anne Elliott; 2000)

Solo publications

Poetry books (Dutch)
gestamelde werken. Amsterdam: Querido, The Netherlands, 2012. ISBN 978-90-214-4243-3. 88 pages.
Geluksbrenger. Amsterdam: Querido, The Netherlands, 2008. ISBN 978-90-214-3503-9. 76 pages.
Het komt voor (image: Marijke van Warmerdam). Hilversum: Uitgeverij 69. 2008. The Netherlands. Bibliofile. 14 pages.
Speling. Amsterdam: Querido, The Netherlands, 2005. ISBN 90-214-6734-8. 56 pages.
Logos. Amsterdam: Querido, The Netherlands, 2002. ISBN 90-214-6708-9. 48 pages.
Locus. Amsterdam: Querido, The Netherlands, 1998. ISBN 90-214-6643-0. 56 pages.

Rozalie Hirs: gestamelde werken (Amsterdam: Querido, 2012)

Rozalie Hirs: Geluksbrenger (Amsterdam: Querido, 2008)

Rozalie Hirs: Speling (Amsterdam: Querido, 2005)

Rozalie Hirs: Logos, 2002 (omslagontwerp: Brigitte Slangen)

Rozalie Hirs: Locus (Amsterdam: Querido, 1998)

Poetry books in other languages
život mogućnosti (Serbian, Croatian translation: Jelica Novaković, Radovan Lučić). Banja Luka: Kuća Poezije/Biblioteka Prevodi, Bosnia & Herzegovina, 2014. ISBN 978-99-955-8050-6. 124 pages.
ein tag (German translation: Ard Posthuma, Jan Oberländer, Rozalie Hirs). Berlin: hochroth Verlag, Germany, 2014. ISBN 978-3-902871-50-3. 40 pages.
Curvices and musicles (English; original language). Bleiswijk: Studio 3005, The Netherlands, 2013. Bibliophile. 24 pages.

Rozalie Hirs: život mogućnosti (Serbian, Croatian translation: Jelica Novaković, Radovan Lučić). Poetry book. Banja Luka: Kuća Poezije/Biblioteka Prevodi, Bosnia & Herzegovina, 2014. ISBN 978-99-955-8050-6. 124pp.

Rozalie Hirs: ein tag (Berlin: hochroth verlag, 2014)

Compact discs
Pulsars (music, poetry). Amsterdam: Attacca Productions, The Netherlands, 2010.
Platonic ID (music). Amsterdam: Attacca Productions, The Netherlands, 2007.
In LA (music, poetry). Boxtel: Drukkerij Tielen. The Netherlands. 2003.
Sacro Monte (music). Amsterdam: MCN, NMClassics, The Netherlands, 1998.
Invisible Self (music). Enschede: CSTM, The Netherlands, 1997.

Rozalie Hirs: Pulsars (Attacca Productions, 2010) CD sleeve design by FokkeWubbolts

Rozalie Hirs: Platonic ID (Amsterdam: Attacca Productions, 2007; sleeve design: FokkeWubbolts)



Rozalie Hirs: Sacro Monte (Amsterdam: Donemus, 1999; sleeve design: Mack van Gageldonk)


Publications in anthologies, magazines

Poems in anthologies, magazines
Hirs’ poems appear in anthologies and literary magazines in The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, and Mexico.

Henri Deluy: Poètes Neérlandais de la modernité (Paris: Le temps des cerises, 2011)

Music in anthologies
Her music compositions appear on the following cds.
Ladder of Escape 11, Fie Schouten (works by Karlheinz Stockhausen, Mauricio Kagel, Rozalie Hirs, Robin de Raaff, Unsuk Chin), Amsterdam: Attacca Records, The Netherlands. 2014.
Anthology of Dutch Electronic Music 1999-2000, Amsterdam: Basta Music/ MCN, 2011.
Red, White & Blues, Marcel Worms, Amsterdam: Attacca Records, 2010.
Traces, Spuren. Johannes Fischer. Leipzig: Genuin/ Deutschlandradio, 2009.
Soundscape Amsterdam. Ssccd 001. Amsterdam: Staalplaat. 1995.
Music Box. 32 composities voor speeldoos. EW 9413. Hilversum: VPRO Eigen Wijs, 1994.

Fie Schouten: Ladder of Escape, works by Karlheinz Stockhausen, Maurizio Kagel, Rozalie Hirs, Robin de Raaff, Unsuk Chin (Attacca Productions, 2014)

Anthology of Dutch electronic music 1999-2010 (Amsterdam: Basta Music, 2011)

Red, white & blues (Amsterdam: Attacca Records, 2007)

Johannes Fischer: Traces (Genuin, 2009)

Soundscape Amsterdam (CEM, 1995)

Music Box (Hilversum: VPRO Eigen Wijs, 1994)

Columns in magazines
During the 2013/14 season Rozalie Hirs was columnist for Preludium, the programme book of Concertgebouw and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
• R. Hirs, ‘Zo ben je, zo ben je niet’, Preludium Vol.72 issue 10, Amsterdam, June 2014.
• R. Hirs, ‘Longkruid’, Preludium Vol.72 issue 8, Amsterdam, April 2014.
• R. Hirs, ‘Spiegelen’, Preludium Vol.72 issue 7, Amsterdam, March 2014.
• R. Hirs, ‘Pingpongballen’, Preludium Vol.72 issue 4, Amsterdam, December 2013.
• R. Hirs, ‘Luisteren’, Preludium Vol.72 issue 2, Amsterdam, October 2013.

Research, software

• R. Hirs, ‘Zeitgenössische Kompositionstechniken und OpenMusic: Murail’s Le Lac’ (vert. L. Haselböck), Klangperspektiven (herausgegeben von Lukas Haselböck), Wolke Verlag, Hofheim, Germany, 2011. pp 119–164. ISBN 978-393-600-081-8.
• R. Hirs, B. Gilmore, eds., Contemporary Compositional Techniques and OpenMusic, Collection Musique/Sciences, Paris: Editions Delatour/IRCAM, France, 2009. 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, France, 2009. pp 93–196. ISBN 978-275-210-080-1.
• R. Hirs, ‘On Murail’s Le lac’, D.M.A. dissertation, Columbia University/New York, Ann Arbor: ProQuest, United States, 2007; Contemporary Compositional Techniques and OpenMusic, Collection Musique/Sciences, Paris: Editions Delatour/IRCAM, France, 2009. pp 45–89. ISBN 978-275-210-080-1.

Rozalie Hirs, Bob Gilmore: Contemporary Compositional Techniques and OpenMusic (Paris: IRCAM/Delatour, 2009)Book and software



Leven, mogelijkheden. Interview (Dutch) by Mila Vojinovic. Paukenslag! Nr.14, University of Belgrade, Serbia, June 2014.
Het gaat allemaal over keuzes maken. Interview (Dutch) by An Prudon and Aafje de Roest. Vooys, University of Amsterdam, May 2014.
De schrijfkamer: Rozalie Hirs. Interview (Dutch) by Kenneth van Zijl, Knetterende Letteren, NTR Television, The Netherlands, April 2013.
The surprise of love and writing. Interview with Caroline Bergvall (English) by Rozalie Hirs. Jacket2, United States, 15 February 2013.
Podcast: Rozalie Hirs. Interview (English) by Ryan Van Winkle. Scottish Poetry Library, UK, December 2012.
De Avonden: Rozalie Hirs en gestamelde werken. Interview (Dutch) by Jeroen van Kan. VPRO Radio, The Netherlands, 17 October 2012.

Anke Brouwer en Rozalie Hirs. Interviews (Dutch) by Agnes van der Horst. Nederlandse Muziekdagen 2008, NPO Televisie, The Netherlands, November 2008.
Dubbeltalenten: Rozalie Hirs – Ik speel als ik werk. Interview (Dutch) by Victor Schiferli. Hollands Diep, The Netherlands, Summer 2007.
Cantina: Rozalie Hirs. Interview (Dutch) by Aad van Nieuwkerk. VPRO Radio, The Netherlands, 14 November 2006.
Café Sonore: Rozalie Hirs en Pulsars. Interview (Dutch) by Armeno Alberts. VPRO Radio, The Netherlands, 23 May 2006.
Na zeshonderd milliseconden. Interview (Dutch) by Remco Ekkers. Poëziekrant 5, September-October 2005, Poëziecentrum, Ghent, Belgium, 2005.
De Avonden: Rozalie Hirs en Platonic ID. Interview (Dutch) by Wouter Pleijsier. VPRO Radio, The Netherlands, 9 June 2005.
De kleine zaal: Rozalie Hirs. Interview (Dutch) by Arnoud van Adrichem. De Contrabas, The Netherlands, 2005.
Rozalie Hirs toont de zachte glimmende huid van de klanken in haar muziek en poëzie. Interview (Dutch) by Anthony Fiumara. Trouw, The Netherlands, 23 February 2005.

Organized violence in performance poetry: Rhythmical analyses of Family Tree by Rozalie Hirs and Handelsreiziger in intertekstualiteit by Barthesque from a cognitive perspective. Master’s thesis (Dutch) by Maarten Robberechts. University of Brussels, Belgium, 2015.
Curvices Amsterdam. Essay (Dutch) by René van Peer. 2015
Voelen denken. Introduction (Dutch, Serbian) by Laurens Ham. život mogućnosti, Kuća Poezije/Biblioteka Prevodi, Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2014.
Zonder een lettergreep knoppen betasten. Essay (Dutch) by Piet Gerbrandy. nY #20, 2014.
Gekromde Ruimtes. Over het oeuvre van dichteres – componiste Rozalie Hirs. Essay (Dutch) by Jeroen Dera. Ons Erfdeel, Septentrion, n° 2 / 2013.
Zeg me of hinkelend een werkelijkheid gaat. Rozalie Hirs. gestamelde werken: een horizontale lectuur. Essay (Dutch) by Jeroen Dera. DW B 2013/ 4, Dietsche Warande & Belfort, Gent, 2013.
Vormen van Rozalie Hirs. Essay (Dutch) by Hans Groenewegen. Met schrijven zin verzamelen – over poëzie in de Lage Landen, Uitgeverij Wereldbibliotheek, Amsterdam, 2012.
Onontregeling. Over het werk van Rozalie Hirs. Essay (Dutch) by Laurens Ham. nY #11 (in druk), 2011; nY web (online), 12 december 2011.
Vogels, woorden en sterren – Rozalie Hirs en de compositie van het innerlijke leven. Essay (English) by Samuel Vriezen. Pulsars, Attacca Records, Amsterdam, 2010.
De zachte, glimmende huid van klank. Essay (English) by Anthony Fiumara. Platonic ID, Attacca Records, 2007.
Dichtende componisten: Rozalie Hirs. Essay (Dutch) by Els van Swol. Mens en Melodie 6/6, 2004.
Speling (Künstlerblätter der Werkstatt Junge Akademie 2004). Introduction (Dutch, German) by Cees Nooteboom. Akademie der Künste, Berlin, Germany, 2004.

“Hirs’ poetry intrigues me. Most of all she seems to be out on an investigation. And her investigations are a poetic adventure. Also for readers who are curious.” Arie van den Berg, NRC

“In all, a highly multifaceted poetry. A musical poetry, too. A beautiful poetry that does not yield easily, that repulses and beguiles, that fascinates more and more, that ends up refusing to release the reader.” Edwin Fagel, De Recensent

“She makes the words dance. She writes poems wearing ballet shoes. Dancing is thinking in body language. The constructions of sensibility. And dancing is litheness, suppleness. Her poetry is curiously elastic. Her poems swing from sentence to sentence, ever faster, ever more reckless.” Alain Delmotte, Poëzierapport

“Especially in her solo compositions, every single one of them a tender miracle of concentration and imagination, the exploration of sonic possibilities by varied repetition seems to be among the most important procedures.” Jochem Valkenburg, NRC

“That the table of elements knows few secrets for Hirs is shown by the high, enchanting mixed sounds of her article 0, played by metal percussion and rocks tuned to pitch.” Roland de Beer, Volkskrant

“Though the quality of performance and recording is impeccable in all four recordings, Sacro Monte by Rozalie Hirs has something unique, due to the fascinating performance by the Ives Ensemble. It’s a mysterious piece, with its Feldman-like, weightless weave of harmonics, buzzing metal sounds and its tinkling, widely spread piano tones. In spite of its quiet character the music is consistently in motion, and the mixture of timbres is so subtle that it takes a sharp ear to hear which instruments are at play. Even the CD case, which was designed like the three other ones by students of the Academie voor Beeldende Kunsten in Den Haag, reflects the balanced transparency of this work. A faultless little treasure.” Frits van der Waa, Volkskrant

“Hirs writes music of a refreshingly original character. She examines and dissects sounds to a microscopic degree; after all, the world is sound! In each atom resides music. From the perspective of the scientist, billions of different vibrations are possible. Hirs re-arranges them with a harmonic equilibrium that is immediately arresting. To listen to these ‘sonic spaces’ as she calls her pieces is an exceptionally captivating experience.” Patricia Werner Leanse, Opzij

“At the other end of history came the world premiere of Rozalie Hirs’ engrossing string quartet Zenit, played by the superb new L.A.-based Formalist Quartet. Everything I might say about Hirs’ unsettled music I could also say the opposite. It is also quite settled. It forges ahead with tentative sounds and silences. It stops and starts yet flows. It has a hint of hard-hitting Dutch Minimalism, yet it offers a feast of radiant string harmonics, pulsating outside of rhythm.” Mark Swed, LA Times

Biography, distinctions, photo

Poetry biography
The main part of Rozalie Hirs’ school years is spent in Germany (Bergisches Land, Nordrhein-Westfalen). At first she writes letters, diaries, and a short story in German. At fourteen after reading Voor wie ik liefheb wil ik heten by Neeltje Maria Min, Hirs writes her first poem. She presents some poems in public (‘Adam’ and ‘Atrium Vestae’) on May 19, 1991 during the Pythische Spelen (Pythian Games), a cultural student festival in Enschede. She receives the third prize for poetry and, subsequently, an invitation by Jan Kuijper, who at the time was the poetry editor of the renowned publishing house Uitgevery Querido. In 1992, her poems appear in the Dutch literary review De Revisor. In 1995 she receives the first prize for poetry during the Pythian Games in Amsterdam. That year, the poetry jury consists of Neeltje Maria Min and Martin Reints. In 1998 her first poetry books appears with Uitgeverij Querido, Locus, followed by Logos (2002), [speling] (2005), Geluksbrenger (2008), and gestamelde werken (2012).

Listening and reading have influenced her poetry deeply. Playing with sound in multiple layers of meaning and with multiple possibilities for reading leads to a ‘fluid’ poetry. Among these layers, the reader may choose again and again, thus to a large extent shaping his own reading experience. A multiplicity of reading possibilities and identities has become Hirs’ poetical trademark, forming a bridge to her music. In 2010, her CD Pulsars is released. On this CD, Hirs investigates polyglot language and the simultaneity of streams of meaning in three electroacoustic works using original texts. She regularly performs these works around the world. In addition, she creates digital poetry in collaboration with visual artists and graphic designers. These projects include Logos online (2003), the Family Tree app (2006), Geluksbrenger online (2011) and Sightbook of work in stuttering (2012). Her poems are published in anthologies and literary magazines in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany and Mexico. Click here for a full list of published poems.

Music biography
As her main subject, Rozalie Hirs studies composition at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, first with Diderik Wagenaar (1991-1994), then Louis Andriessen (1994-1998). During her time at the Royal Conservatory she also takes lessons with Gilius van Bergeijk and Clarence Barlow. She graduates in 1998. Shortly after, her debut publication as a composer appears, the CD Sacro Monte, which meets with critical acclaim. She subsequently departs for New York on a Fulbright grant, to continue her composition studies with Tristan Murail at Columbia University. There, she teaches harmony and counterpoint as a Teaching Assistant. She receives her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in 2007; her thesis consists of the essay Tristan Murail’s Le Lac, and her composition Platonic ID, a commission from Asko|Schönberg. She developes a personal spectral style, inspired, the one hand, by the acoustic and psychoacoustic properties of timbre and sound, and on the other hand, by the clear classicist structures of the Hague School. At the invitation of Nieuw Ensemble, she develops and curates the course Contemporary Compositional Techniques and OpenMusic, which she teaches at the Conservatory of Amsterdam during the 2005-06 academic year, together with guest professors Tristan Murail, Mikhail Malt, and Benjamin Thigpen. In 2009 the book of essays on this subject, she co-edtied with Bob Gilmore, is published as part of the Collection Musique/Sciences of IRCAM/Éditions Delatour in Paris. In 2007, her universally acclaimed CD Platonic ID featuring instrumental compositions is released by Attacca Records, Amsterdam. In 2010, followed by the CD Pulsars with electroacoustic works on original texts. During the academic year 2010-2011, Rozalie Hirs is guest lecturer at the Composition Department at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London.

Rozalie Hirs writes compositions commissioned by Arnold Marinissen (article 0, 2000), Asko|Schönberg (Book of Mirrors, 2001; Platonic ID, 2006; Arbre Généalogique, 2011), the VPRO broadcasting organization (Pulsars, 2007), Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra (Roseherte, 2008), Formalist Quartet (Zenit, 2010), Slagwerk Den Haag (Venus, 2010), David Kweksilber Big Band (Ain Silabar Ain, 2013), Bozzini Quartet (Nadir, 2014), and Amsterdam Sinfonietta (Lichtende Drift, 2014) with financial support from the Fonds Podiumkunsten, VPRO, or Eduard van Beinum Foundation. She regularly performs her compositions for spoken voice and electronic sounds internationally. Donemus publishes her musical scores, Attacca publishes her CDs. Additionally, Hirs is active as a poet. Her poetry collections are published by Uitgeverij Querido.

Book of Mirrors (2001) received the Boris and Edna Rapoport Prize 2002 of Columbia University. Roseherte (2008) and Zenit (2010) were selected for Toonzetters as ‘one of the ten most beautiful compositions of the previous year’. ‘Pulsars’ received the distinction ‘Recommended Work’ at the ‘Rostrum for Electronic Musis, Lissabon, Portugal, and was subsequently broadcast in twenty countries. As a composer Rozalie Hirs has received a two-year stipend from the Netherlands Performing Arts Fund in 2012-2013, a travel and development fellowship in 2011, as well as financial support for almost all commissions by ensembles, orchestras, and soloists since 2000. As a poet she has received awards and stipends for all her poetry books from either the Flemish Literary Fund, or the Netherlands Foundation for Literature. Read more

Press photographs

Rozalie Hirs (©2012 Marco Borggreve)

foto ©2012 Marco Borggrgeve
More press photographs


External links

Google+ (English)
Google+ (Nederlands)
Dutch music encyclopedia
Dutch poetry encyclopedia

publishers of music scores, poetry books, and cds
Donemus Publishing
Em. Querido’s Uitgeverij
Attacca Productions

ensembles, orchestras
Amsterdam Sinfonietta
Bozzini Quartet
Klangforum Wien
Nieuw Amsterdams Peil/ Ensemble N.A.P.
Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Slagwerk Den Haag

festivals, venues
International Gaudemaus Music Week
Holland Festival
Muziekgebouw aan’t IJ
November Music
Philharmonie Essen/ Festival NOW!
Poetry on the Road
StAnza International Poetry Festival
Transit Festival of FLanders

visual art, design
Cox & Grusenmeyer
Harm van den Dorpel
Noëlle von Eugen
Michaël Snitker
Marijke van Warmerdam

Web design ©2013 Cox & Grusenmeyer