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Portuguese harpist, teacher and composer Clotilde Rosa was born in Queluz on 11 May 1930. She studied piano from age ten, and harp at the Lisbon Conservatory from the aged of twelve with Cecilia Borba. She later studied harp in Amsterdam, Paris and Cologne on Gulbenkian Scholarships, and specialised in the interpretation of early music. She began working as a harp soloist with various ensembles and orchestras.
Studying at Stockhausen's Darmstadt Summer Courses for three years, she developed an interest in composition, writing more than seventy works for solo instruments, chamber ensemble and symphony orchestra, and winning the first National Composition Contest of Portugal for Variantes for solo flute.
Whilst continuing to work as a composer, she taught harp at Lisbon Conservatory of Music.
Clotilde Rosa died in Lisbon on 24 November 2017, aged eighty-seven.