Piet-Jan van Rossum was born on January 25, 1966, in Delft, The Netherlands.
From 1985-1990, Van Rossum studied composition with Louis Andriessen, Jan Boerman and Dick Raaymakers. During this time, Van Rossum also studied organ with Rienk Jiskoot. From 1990-1993, he studied composition with Klaas de Vries and Peter-Jan Wagemans.
In 2003, Van Rossum was a programmer at the Rumori Festival, Amsterdam. He has been chairman of Componisten 96, an association for composers, and recently accomplished the merger with the composers association, Geneco, resulting in a stronger and more professional Nieuw Geneco.
Visual artist Petra van der Schoot and van Rossum founded music theater group “Zoogdier” (mammal) and made the music theater performances 'Notes of a Mammal' in 2008, 'somewhere in between' in 2010, 'achterna gedragen' in 2011, and 'de optocht' in 2015.
Van Rossum above all directs his attention to composing and writing. In his own words: “I look upon myself as a storyteller, as a member of an ancient tribe of shy, wild people who, through stories, sometimes succeed to create another way of experiencing time. My work comprises life as I live it: a piece of wood full of splinters, chunks of beauty and the fracturing or lack of it: lots of waiting, silences. This explains my fascination with scratched movies, lazy eyes, a broken voice, old gramophone-records, growing old. It’s all about looking for a novel beauty in the corrosion of an old (sound-) world.” His lifelong interest in theology leads him to monasteries once in a while, making the unimaginable and the unseen regular subjects in his work.
With some artists he has built a special relationship, people who are devoted to quality and adventure; Petra van der Schoot, pianist Reinier van Houdt, percussionist Arnold Marinissen, the Ives ensemble, and Ludwig. Since most of his works are for unusual combinations of instruments, special ensembles were formed for special occasions. Van Rossum’s works have been played by the Radio Symfonie Orkest, the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, the Nederlands Ballet Orkest, ASKO Schonberg ensemble, Ives Ensemble, Orkest de Volharding, the Doelen Ensemble, the Maarten Altena Ensemble, the New Trombone Collective, the David Kweksilber Bigband, the ASKO Kamerkoor, the Veni Ensemble, Ensemble Alpha Tokyo, the Ives Ensemble, Ludwig, Lunapark and Lunatree, among others.
In December, 2002, Van Rossum was invited to Tokyo, Japan by the Alpha Contemporary Ensemble Japan for lectures and performances of his work. In 2015 he returned to study Noh theater.
His work, 'Annette dans l’atelier', was selected and performed for the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) World Music Days 2006 in Stuttgart. Van Rossum and Petra van der Schoot’s piece, 'Angel Alley', was performed at the International Computer Music Conference (ICMC) in Copenhagen in 2007. In October 2007, Van Rossum was guest composer and speaker at the Contemporary Music Festival in Bratislava, Slovakia. In January 2008, he worked in Sweden at the invitation of the electronic studio in Visby. His piece 'Attendre longtemps, je suis sans identité…', received a BUMA nomination as one of the 10 best works of the year for Toonzetters in 2008.
'Ain’t no sunshine' was selected by The Netherlands for the ISCM World Music Days 2010 in Sydney, Australia. Also in 2010, Van Rossum was composer in residence at the November Music Festival in Den Bosch, resulting in the publication all and beyond by the festival.
In 2013 two full evening concerts with his works were organized by Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ and the World Minimal Music Festival. In 2014, pianist Ralph van Raat played Van Rossum’s piano concerto as well as another full evening concert which was held at the Orgelpark in Amsterdam.
In 2015, the 3-hour poem 'de optocht' (text by Toon Tellegen) was premiered at November Music and will tour the country in 2016.
Next to 81 compositions, Van Rossum also wrote two small books and made one movie. He is a film and book collector. His 80-reel collection of nitrate silent movies, some of them considered lost, are now kept at the Eye Film Museum.
For information about Van Rossum’s works, visit www.buromono.nl