Biography and CV

Biography and CV Luc Houtkamp

Born 1953, Den Haag, The Netherlands; composer, alto and tenor saxophones, computers, electronics.

Luc Houtkamp is a composer who bridges the gap between different worlds of music. Having a background in jazz & improvised music as a saxophone player, his musical goal is to establish a continuum between improvisation and composition in which the difference between the two dissolves.

With the aid of computers and live electronics as well as various forms of music notation his compositions are highly personal in both sound and concept. Stylistic freedom is not a post-modern cliché, but based on his belief that musical style is secondary in importance and they’re to serve the expressive quality of the music itself. His main interest in his pieces is the way in which the musicians play together, and how this can be directed by means of composition and the use of computers.

After a long-standing career as an improvising musician, Houtkamp established his own POW Ensemble in 2002. Being a flexible unit of musicians with musical backgrounds in jazz, rock, electronic and contemporary music, it soon became the ideal body for the performance of his own composition.

In 2014, Houtkamp moved to the island of Malta, where he soon became integrated in the local new music scene. He now mainly concentrates on composition.




Several studies with private teachers in composition and instrumental music (saxophone and clarinet).

1970 – 1974            Vrije Academie, Den Haag, electronic music and visual art
1991 – 1992            Institute of Sonology, Royal Conservatory, Den Haag


Brief overview musical career as a performer

2020 –                    The L. Switters Saxophone Brotherhood & Society
2017 –                     Duo with Giorgi Occhipinti
2016 –                     Beresford-Blume-Houtkamp
2016 –                     Duo with Hannes Buder
2013 –  2016           Nobatov-Blume-Houtkamp
2001 – 2005            2nd Outlet, with Cor Fuhler, Martin Blume
2002 –                     POW Ensemble
1997 –  2016           FOURinONE, with Johannes Bauer, Dieter Manderscheid, Martin Blume
1993 – 2002            Own groups, with Gert-Jan Prins, Johannes Bauer and Fred van Hove
1988 – 1992            King Übü Orchestrü, Germany
1984 – 1989            Trio and Quartet with Ernst Reijseger, Han Bennink and Konrad Bauer
1982 –                     Solo saxophone concerts, with and without electronics
1979 – 1984            Homage Saxophone Quartet, Belgium
1979 – 1983            Klimaat, with Maartje ten Hoorn and Jan den Boer
1979 – 1992            Several ensemble by, and in collaboration with Gilius van Bergeijk
1974 – 1979            Own groups, with Kees Hazevoet, Sven Johansson, Joop van Erven
1970 – 1973            STEAM Group


Lectureships, composer in residences, academic activities

Guest lecture at the University of Western Australia
Guest lectures at the Shih Chien University, Taipei, and the Chiao Tung University,   Hsinchu in Taiwan
2009 – 2010   External examiner in DMUS, Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
2007 – 2008   Guest lecturer at the HKU KMT, Hilversum
2005 – 2008   Ensemble in residence with the POW Ensemble at the Royal Conservatory, Den Haag
2002               Artist in Residence at Eulec, Lüneburg, Musikhochschüle, Hamburg, Germany
2000               Composer in residence at Det Fynske Mussikkonservatorium (Odense, Denmark)
2000               Guest lecturer contemporary music at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa
1997               Guest lecturer electronic music at University of Natal, Durban, South Africa


Performed in:

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Slovenia, Slovakia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tatarstan, The Netherlands, UK, USA


Grants awarded

2019                      Travel grant for South Africa with EMM, by the Arts Council Malta
Valletta 2018, grant for the POW Ensemble
Travel grant for Australian tour, by the Arts Council Malta
2015                      Composition bursary by the FPK
–                   Several grants from the FPK for the POW Ensemble
2009 – 2010          2-year grant from the FPK for the POW Ensemble
2005 – 2008          4-year grant from the Dutch ministry of Culture (OCW) for the POW Ensemble
1989                      Composition grant from the Amsterdam Art Fund
1986 – 2014          Continuous stipend from the FCM and NPK for composition
1985                      Composition grant from the Amsterdam Art Fund
1984 –                   Numerous incidental grants for traveling and performing as a composer/performer



2005                       VPRO/Boy Edgar award, for jazz and improvised music in the Netherlands



2020 –   2022        Artistic director at Electronic Music Malta
Jury member of the International Music Competition Malta
2017 –                     Secretary Electronic Music Malta (EMM)
                        Jury member Gaudeamus interpreters competition
2006 – 2010            Chairman of the Dutch organization for Bisexuals (LNBi)
2001 – 2005            Board member of the Dutch organization for Electronic music (PEM)
2000 – 2016            Board member Conlon Foundation
2000 – 2008            Member of the artistic board of Stichting Gaudeamus, The Netherlands
1998 – 2001            Board member Dutch Union for composers (GeNeCo)
1998 – 2001            Board member BUMA Social fund
1984 – 1989            Treasurer Dutch Union for Improvising Musicians (BIM)