Rozalie Hirs

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Guest at Matinee Café, NTR

On 14 July 2018 from 16:25 until 17:30 Rozalie Hirs is a guest at Matinee Cafe, NTR Radio 4 (Dutch National Radio). Hans Haffmans interviews Hirs on her music and poetry. Haffmans and Hirs also speak about musical ideas, influences, inspirations, as well as the new work for Musikfabrik, a commission by Zaterdagmatinee, to be premiered on 18 May 2019. The editor of the program is Myrthe van Dijk. The full playlist of Hirs’ works is shown below.


Roseherte (2007-08; 2014)


1. Listen
2. Program notes
3. Technical details
4. Performances


Program notes

Roseherte (2007-08), for a ninety-piece symphony orchestra and one hundred and fifty electronic sounds, borrows its name from the Middle Dutch mythical animal that lives in the depths of the heart. Roseherte (Rose hart) is roused from her eternal sleep by the Occitan unicorn. They set out in the rain as the sun breaks through and rainbows appear in the silver-grey sky. They sing about the zeppelins and air balloons flying by. Along with humming high-tension cables they sing of clouds and time. They are fond of pairs of dominant seventh chords whose roots are separated by the consonant interval of a perfect fifth. These pairs of seventh chords occur in various transpositions throughout Roseherte, and can be conceived as combinations of two or three harmonic series with matching partials. Roseherte employs ring modulation calculations between the two dominant seventh chords occurring within a pair. In this way, the two chords are, as it were, heard in the light of each other.
All calculations were done with OpenMusic software and transformed into the orchestral score by hand and ear. The calculated frequencies underlying the instrumental score were, then, used for sound synthesis with Csound software. During the performance of Roseherte, a musician triggers the synthesized sounds with a sampler, while two stereo loudspeakers that are placed next to the orchestra on stage project the electronic sounds into the hall. The resulting flexible soundtrack amplifies the orchestral mass during the performance: It adds perspective to the orchestral sound, blends with it mysteriously as a kind of aural halo, and, then again, sets itself apart placing the orchestra, as it were, in a sound space.

Technical details

15′ ca.

instrumentation (2008, version for symphony orchestra: 91 players)
3 flutes (flutes 2: also piccolo)
3 oboes (oboe 3: also cor anglais)
3 clarinets (clarinet 3: also bass clarinet)
3 bassoons (bassoon 3: also contrabassoon)

4 French horns
3 trumpets
2 tenor trombones
1 bass trombone

timpani (1 player)
4 percussionists: crotales (bowed and hit), 3 glockenspiels, 4 thai gongs, tubular bells (twee octaves: one standaard and one low set), vibraphone (4 octaves), marimba, 12 bell plates (or bell plate sampler, to be obtained through the composer), 3 cymbals (high, medium, low; to bow with string bows), 2 sand paper blocks, bass drum

celesta (1 player)

midi keyboard & laptop for electronic sounds (1 player)

16 violins I
14 violins II
12 violas
10 cellos
8 double basses

instrumentation (2014; revised version for orchestra: 42 players)
2 flutes (flute 2: also piccolo)
2 oboes (oboe 2: also cor anglais)
2 clarinets (clarinet 2: also bass clarinet)
2 bassoons (bassoon 2: also contrabassoon)

2 French horns
2 trumpets
1 tenor trombones
1 bass trombone

2 percussionists: crotales (bowed and hit), glockenspiels, thai gongs, tubular bells, vibraphone (4 octaves), marimba, 3 cymbals (high, medium, low; to bow with string bows), 2 sand paper blocks, bass drum


midi keyboard & laptop for electronic sounds (1 player)

6 violins I
6 violins II
4 violas
4 cellos
2 double basses

further technical requirements
1.) Logic software, to be installed on the above mentioned laptop
2.) The ‘Hirstotaal’ sampler, to be obtained through Donemus Publishing.
This sampler with 150 electronic sounds was programmed by sound engineer and designer Jan Panis. The sounds were synthesized by Rozalie Hirs with technical assistance by Casper Schipper. The sound synthesis was done with the help of Csound software. Together the electronic sounds become a flexible soundtrack, that is used both as a reference for the orchestra with respect to the microtonal tuning as well as shaping a sound space within which the orchestral sound can evolve.
3.) Amplifier and mixer in the concert hall
4.) Stereo loudspeakers, to be placed next to or near the orchestra on the podium


6 November 2014 (version for orchestra: 42 players), 19:00, November Music, Verkadefabriek (Grote Zaal), Den Bosch, The Netherlands – Philharmonie Zuidnederland, Bas Wiegers (conductor)

21 September 2012 (version for symphony orchestra: 90 players), 19:30, Fifty-fifth International Festival of Contemporary Music Warsaw Autumn, Warsaw Philharmonic Hall, Warsaw, Poland – Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Pascal Rophé (conductor)

8 November 2008 (version for symphony orchestra: 90 players), 20:15, Nederlandse Muziekdagen: Oer, Muziekgebouw aan’t IJ, Amsterdam, The Netherlands – Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Micha Hamel (conductor) – world premiere

Rozalie Hirs: Roseherte, 21 september 2012, Warsaw Philharmonic, Pascal Rophé

Photograph: Rozalie Hirs on stage after the performance of Roseherte by the Warsaw Philharmonic at Warsaw Autumn (photo ©2012 Jan Bogacz)


Roseherte now on SoundCloud

Dear friends, these weeks I shall be sharing a few more sound recordings of my works through SoundCloud. First of all here is the live recording of Roseherte as performed by the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Micha Hamel (conductor) in November 2008. This live recording received additional mastering by Guido Tichelman. For more info on the composition, please visit its main page.


Roseherte – world premiere of the new version for orchestra

November Music: Perfromance of 'Roseherte' by Rozalie Hirs at opening concert, 6 November 2014During the opening concert of November Music 2014 on Thursday 6 November 2014 Roseherte (2008) by Rozalie Hirs will be performed by Philharmonie Zuidnederland.
In its original version this work is scored for a ninety-piece symphony orchestra & electronic sounds. On 6 November 2014 a brandnew version for forty-two piece orchestra & electronic sounds will be played. The new instrumentation is & electronic sounds. For more info on the composition, please visit its main page.

Special thanks to Casper Schipper for assistance with the sound synthesis in CSound and to Jan Panis for sound projection in the hall.

→ Nederlands


Roseherte [invitation]

Rehearsal of 'Roseherte' (2008; 2014, arrangement) by Rozalie Hirs with Bas Wiegers and Philharmonie Zuidnederland

You are cordially invited to the world premiere of the new arrangement of Roseherte for 42 players and electronic sounds (version for 90 players and electronic sounds, 2008; 2014) at the opening concert of November Music tonight at 20:00 CET at Verkadefabriek, Den Bosch, The Netherlands. The performers are Bas Wiegers (conductor) and Philharmonie Zuidnederland. For more info on the composition, please visit its main page.

Concert program:

Rozalie Hirs – Roseherte
Stian Westerhus – The Redundance 40 (ft. Stian Westerhus)

– intermission –

Kate Moore – Days & Nature
Valgeir Sigurdsson – No Nights Dark Enough (ft. Valgeir Sigurdsson)

It would be great to see you at the concert and have a drink together afterwards.

(photograph: rehearsal of Roseherte with Bas Wiegers and Philharmonie Zuidnederland in Philipszaal, Eindhoven, The Netherlands, on 4 November 2014)


Composer in Focus at November Music 2014

Rozalie Hirs (©2008 Co Broerse) attending a rehearsal of 'Roseherte' (2008) with Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Micha Hamel (conductor), 5 November 2008, Hilversum

Rozalie Hirs will be one of the Composers in Focus at November Music, the contemporary music festival of The Netherlands, this year. Her composition Roseherte will be performed by philharmonie zuidnederland at the opening concert. Her brand-new string quartet with electronic sounds will be played by the Montréal-based Bozzini Quartet at their concert on November 8. And her sound and poetry app Curvices will be a permanent installation for the duration of the festival. More news will be posted on the November Music website soon!


Bas Wiegers conducts opening concert of November Music 2014

Bas Wiegers (Photograph: Marco Borggreve)

Delighted to announce that Bas Wiegers will be the conductor of the opening concert of November Music this year. Together with Philharmonie Zuidnederland he will perform works by Stian Westerhus, Kate Moore, Valgeir Sigurdsson, and Rozalie Hirs.

Thursday 6 November 2014
20:00 – 22:00 CET
November Music, Verkadefabriek, ’s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands

Concert Programme
Rozalie Hirs – Roseherte (première of a new version for 40 players)
Stian Westerhus – The Redundance 40 (Dutch première)

Kate Moore – Engraved in Stone (première of new version)
Valgeir Sigurdsson – No Nights Dark Enough (Dutch première)


Meet the composer: Rozalie Hirs, Warsaw, Poland

120922 warsaw_autumn_12

On September 22, 2012 Rozalie Hirs is interviewed by Krzysztof Kwiatkowski for the occasion of the 55th edition of the Warsaw International Festival Of Contemporary Music. The night before the interview, the Polish premiere of her composition Roseherte (2008) for orchestra and electronic sounds takes place, executed by the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and Pascal Rophé (conductor).


Roseherte – Polish premiere

Rozalie Hirs: Roseherte, September 21, 2012, Warsaw Philharmonic, Pascal Rophé

On September 21, 2012, at 19:30, the Polish premiere of Roseherte (2008) for large orchestra and electronic sounds takes place as part of the opening concert of Warsaw Autumn, Warsaw, Poland. Performers are the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and Pascal Rophé (conductor).

For more information, see the program note and Rozalie’s bio on the Warsaw Autumn website.

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