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Clotilde Rosa

© Bruno Nacarato / Atelier de Composição

Clotilde Rosa (Lisbon, May 11th, 1930 – November 24th, 2017), composer and harpist, studied at the Conservatório Nacional de Lisboa, where, after her piano course, she began to learn the harp, an instrument she would make a career out of. With scholarships from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the Dutch government, she continued her studies in harp, particularly with Phia Berghout, in Amsterdam.
From an early age an assiduous collaborator of Jorge Peixinho, she was part of the Grupo de Música Contemporânea de Lisboa, since its foundation. She was a teacher, first of Analysis and Composition Techniques, then of Harpa, at the same institution where she graduated, being responsible for the introduction, of contemporary music in the curriculum of this instrument, for the first time in Portugal. Encouraged by Jorge Peixinho, she began working on composition, collaborating on the collective work In-con-subsequência.
Since 1976, when she composed Encontro, she assumed herself as a composer. In her own words, Clotilde Rosa says: “I started my composition work with a non-serial language, using non-consonant chords, melodic fragments and clusters. I followed it with series of twelve sounds, series of harmonics and other materials, employing, albeit without rigidity, the techniques of serialism as a means of discipline. I created three chords of four sounds, also making up the total of the twelve sounds, using them frequently in order to form a harmony that became peculiar throughout my production. I conceived small cells, many of them only two or three sounds that I branched out and increased in an imitative style. As a structural development engine, I almost always used serial techniques. Many of my works have been worked in a contrapuntal way. I have also created textures, like a musical fabric, on which other elements appear. Repetitive minimalism is present in some of my works that have random fragments. Currently, I don’t obey any established code, using in a free way a symbiosis of all the techniques I used before.”