Joep Straesser was born in Amsterdam on March 11, 1934. He died on September 22, 2004 in Loenersloot.
Joep Straesser studied musicology from 1953 to 1955 at the University of Amsterdam. He studied organ with Anthon van der Horst (1956-1959) and theory with Jan Felderhof (1959-1961) at the Amsterdam Conservatory of Music and composition with Ton de Leeuw (1960-1965).
From 1953 to 1961 Joep Straesser was a church organist. From 1962 to 1980 he taught theoretical subjects at the Utrecht Conservatory of Music. In 1967 he was appointed senior lecturer. From 1975 until 1989 he taught composition.
His oeuvre comprises works for various instruments and settings, with a specific preference for the human voice. '22 Pages' for three male voices and orchestra on text by John Cage was performed during the ISCM Festival in Stockholm (1966). Some other compositions which were performed during ISCM Festivals are: 'Intervals I' for mixed choir, flute, violoncello and harp in 1979, 'Roundabouts' for 4 marimbas in 1981, and 'Signals and Echoes' for bass clarinet and ensemble in 1985.
Straesser was awarded the Prix de Composition in 1965. In 1958 'Psalm 148' won the first prize in the composition contest, organized on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Dutch men's chorus 'Maastreechter Staar'. In 1965 '22 Pages' won the prize for the best Dutch composition at the International Gaudeamus Music Week. In 1988 Joep Straesser received the Matthijs Vermeulen Prize from the Amsterdam Arts Fund for the opera 'Über Erich M.'.