C0 note (16,35 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

D0 note (18.35 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

C0 note (16,35 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

F0 note (21.83 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

G0 note (24.50 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

A0 note (27.50 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

Rosa, Clotilde 




CLOTILDE ROSA (b. Lisbon, May 11th 1930). This crucial Portuguese composer, harpist and pedagogue left us on November 24th 2017. Educated at the Lisbon Conservatory (1942–9), she played the harp as a freelancer until 1963, when she went to study in the Netherlands. Rosa's visit to the Netherlands exposed her to contemporary musical trends that had barely reached Portugal. During the 1960s Clotilde Rosa belonged to a group of musicians united by Jorge Peixinho, which in 1970 gave origin to the emblematic Lisbon Contemporary Music Group (GMCL). Continuing to be interested in ancient music, she formed at the end of the 1970s, together with Carlos Franco and Luísa de Vasconcelos, the Antiqua Trio. She also performed with the Porto Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, both from the National Broadcaster, having also worked with orchestras of the São Carlos National Theatre and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. In 1987 she was appointed a teacher at the Lisbon Conservatory. Between 1987 and 1989 Clotilde Rosa was lecturing Analysis and Composition Techniques at the Music School of the Lisbon Conservatory, having changed for the Harp class between 1989 and 2000. In that time she introduced contemporary music to the Harp Course regular programme, for the first time in Portugal.

Through repeated visits to the Darmstadt Summer New Music Courses and her acquaintance with Jorge Peixinho she became involved in the performance of avant-garde music. In 1963 she realized one of the three journeys to that city, which turned out to be of fundamental importance to her career. The contact and experience with composers such as Pierre Boulez, Mauricio Kagel, Karlheinz Stockhausen or György Ligeti gave her new perspectives of approaching contemporary music. This led to her inclusion in the Lisbon Contemporary Music Group (GMCL), founded in 1970 by Peixinho. The experiments of the GMCL starting in 1974 (the year of the Portuguese democratic revolution) led Rosa to embrace composition. It was in 1974, a result of Jorge Peixinho’s invitation, when Clotilde Rosa sketched her first musical passage in the collective work “In-con-sub-sequência”, which presents the influences of Karlheinz Stockhausen (intuitive music, collective improvisation). She assumed herself as composer in 1976 with the piece “Encontro”, her first non-collective work, which was distinguished at the International Composers’ Tribune in Paris.

Clotilde Rosa emerged as a composer at the age of 45, becoming one of the most important personalities regarding the creation and divulgation of contemporary music – she was "the Mum" for many Portuguese contemporary composers. "Her creative irruption on the Portuguese musical scene is simultaneously atypical and symptomatic" – wrote Manuel Pedro Ferreira on the pages of his book “Dez Compositores Portugueses” (“Ten Portuguese Composers”; 2007, Lisbon). Apart from the distinguishment at the International Composers’ Tribune, among other awards, she won the first National Composition Contest of the Oficina Musical do Porto with her work "Variantes" for flute solo; and the piece "Alternâncias" for flute and piano represented Portugal at ISCM Festival in Athens (1979).

The following years established her reputation as a composer, and her own personal style. In the early 1980s she started to adopt pan-chromatic materials with potential tonal associations and concentrated on contrapuntal techniques and textural fluidity. This enabled her to create forceful, dramatic gestures combined with subtle, evocative atmospheres, producing music of profound emotional resonance and cultural thickness. 

Clotilde Rosa's catalogue includes around 110 titles: chamber music works, orchestral music, an opera, a ballet and also didactic pieces; various of them still awaiting their premiere performances. In her musical language, exercising a posture of creative freedom Clotilde Rosa did not obey any established code, using freely a symbiosis of different aesthetics – from serialism to repetitive minimalism present in works with aleatoric fragments.

Interview with Clotilde Rosa realized by the MIC.PT in October 2017 (click here)



Works in ISCM catalogue



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