Rozalie Hirs is niet alleen componiste, maar ook ingenieur, dichter en zangeres. Ze zong onder meer enkele jaren in een folkband. Na haar middelbare school besloot ze chemische technologie te gaan studeren aan de Universiteit van Twente. In die tijd richtte ze de popgroep Boo-Lean op waarvoor ze muziek en teksten schreef, daarnaast zong ze enkele rollen in operaproducties van de Enschedese Muziekschool. Begin jaren negentig ging ze naar het Koninklijk Conservatorium in Den Haag waar ze eerst compositie studeerde bij Diderik Wagenaar en zang bij Gerda van Zelm. Van 1994 tot 1998 studeerde ze hoofdvak compositie bij Louis Andriessen. In 1998 verscheen haar poëziedebuut Locus bij uitgeverij Querido.
Rozalie Hirs studied piano and voice from age 12 and 17 respectively. She completed a Master's degree in chemical engineering at the Organic Chemistry Group of David Reinhoudt at Twente University in 1990; this included graduate work in reaction mechanisms and catalysis with Luigi Mandolini at the Universitá La Sapienza in Rome in 1990. During her studies at the Twente University, she sang several roles in opera productions of the Enschedesche Music School (Anima in Cavalieri's "Rappresentazione di Anima e di Corpo" and Soprano in Purcell's "King Arthur"), and co-wrote music and lyrics for the New Wave band BOOLEAN in which she was the singer. Her first poems were published in the literary magazine De Revisor in 1992 upon invitation by Jan Kuijper, poetry editor of the Dutch publisher Querido. Kuijper has remained her most important literary mentor. In 1995 she won the first prize for poetry at the Pythic Plays in Amsterdam.
In 1991 she began studying composition with Diderik Wagenaar at the Royal Conservatory at the Hague, and classical voice with Eugenie Ditewig at the Utrecht Conservatory and with Gerda van Zelm at the Royal Conservatory. In 1994 she decided to dedicate herself to composition and poetry. Between 1994 and 1998 she studied composition with Louis Andriessen, also taking composition lessons and classes on MusiQuantics with Clarence Barlow. She completed her composition studies at the Royal Conservatory in 1998. Since 1999, she has studied with Tristan Murail at Columbia University in New York.. She received a Fulbright fellowship in 1999 for DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts) studies at Columbia University, and Fellowships from Columbia University and the Dutch Fonds voor de Podiumkunsten.
In addition to her main composition studies, she attended the Professional Course for Young Choreographers and Composers at Bretton Hall in 1995, masterclasses with Betsy Jolas at the American Conservatory at Fontainebleau in 1998, the 2002 Compositon and Computer Music Course at IRCAM, and the Musikinstitut Darmstadt the same year. She won the Rapaport Composition Prize at Columbia University in 2002. She is currently writing her dissertation on microtonal systems in contemporary music.
In 1998 her poetry book Locus was published by Querido, Amsterdam, Netherlands. In 1999 her work was selected for the anthology of best poems of 1998 (de beste gedichten van 1998) published by de Arbeiderspers. Her second volume of poetry Logos appeared in 2002, at Querido. Other publications include poetry in the literary magazines Tirade, De tweede ronde, de Gids, Lust en Gratie, and most recently in the anthology 'Flowering inferno', Philip Elchers, 2002.
Recent musical works include Book of mirrors for 19 instruments (a collaboration with abstract film maker Joost Rekveld) played by the Asko Ensemble at the Holland Festival 2001, the electronic pieces Noise~, premiered at the mediated music festival of stichting TArt, Netherlands, in 2001, and for morton feldman, premiered at Engine 27, New York, in 2002, and Book of shadows for 11 instruments and live electronics to be premiered by Ensemble pp in Munich, Amsterdam and the Hague. Recent pieces include commissions by the Amsterdam Fonds voor de Scheppende Toonkunst. Her composition Sacro Monte for 10 instruments is available on CD in a recording by the Ives Ensemble (NM Classics, Present series 950008, Muziekgroep Nederland, 1999).