Harpist. Rosa Spier was born to a poor Jewish family. She was very interested in music, so her family saved enough money to send her to study the harp with Henri Viotta at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. She was so talented, that at the age of 13 she debuted on a concert stage. After studying with Viotta, she then moved on to take lessons from Otto Muller, the solo harpist with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Following her studies with Muller, she was employed by The Hague Philharmonic, Concertgebouw Orchestra and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition to being part of the orchestras, she taught student harpists and created her own compositions for the harp. From 1932 to 1941, she performed as the solo harpist with the Concertgebouw Orchestra and also many of the concert halls throughout Europe. In May 1941, all Jewish musicians in orchestras were fired from the orchestras. In September 1941 she had to go into hiding from the Nazis, but was betrayed and she was sent to the Westerbork Transit Camp. Her home was emptied, but a neighbor saw the harp and saved it from the thieves. In September 1944 she was deported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp. In February 1945 she was freed in a prisoner exchange and left for Switzerland. When she was able to return to her home, she found all her belongings gone except for her harp, which had been rescued by her neighbor. She played many school concerts and performances for radio and television after the war. She continued to give concerts into her 70s, although her physical condition made it increasingly difficult for her to play. She began then to create plans for a residential community, where elderly artists and intellectuals could inspire each other. Unfortunately, Ms Spier did not live to see her dream become reality. In 1969, the house opened and was named The Rosa Spier House, located in Laren, the Netherlands. The book, "The Way of the Harp; a Biography of Rosa Spier," contains her comments and several of her previously unpublished compositions.
Bio by: Daddy♥s Girl