home Maarten Regtien Biography

Maarten Regtien (1963) started playing classical piano at the age of seven.

In 1975 he was introduced to the nearby living (province of Groningen, the Netherlands) Canadian jazz saxofonist and composer Alan Laurillard who introduced M. Regtien to jazz and improvisation.

During adolescence his musical taste started to grow towards 'anything new and unheard-of before.' This period included creating prepared piano's and tape experiments many years before he heard the music of John Cage or Brian Eno for the first time.

Favorite music in the schoolgooing years was the early psychedelic music of Pink Floyd, The Beatles' White Album, free jazz, cool jazz, bebop, early Philip Glass minimal music and above all master pianists Keith Jarret and Jasper Van't Hoff.

Though never heared classical music before M.Regtien started to study musicology at the Universities of Utrecht (RU, 1982) and at the University of Amsterdam (UvA, 1983-1988) where contemporary experimental music was tought on which he in 1988 graduated with a thesis on Penderecki's "Threnos".

During his studies M.Regtien started composing classical music besides his piano solo jazz-improvisations. The by the composer regarded first mature compositions originated from this time ("Le Petit Nicolas" and "3 tapecompositions").

Whereas the classical music is quite 'modern contemporain' the piano improvisations mostly dwelles in the jazz-realm.

After his studies Maarten Regtien started his carreer which encompassed work as nurse and as pianotechnician at the wellknown Dutch Andriessen pianofirm in Haarlem, the Netherlands. Currently Mr.Regtien is working as a Microsoft software developer.

In the past 30 years M.Regtien has been active in
  • pop music
    • he recorded some 15 pop-cds for his "ModernTimes" label. The style is 'any pop style' but always leaning towards experimental
  • classical music
    • he wrote some eleven stringquartets, two large orchestra works, ensemble pieces, songs and a lot of computer music (amongst them the three cds of "Computer Manipulated Improvisations"), and
  • jazz
    • he recorded four piano solo cds, three fully free improvisations and one double-cd traditional jazz on an antique piano (Jazz Standards, 2006)

    • Maarten Regtien's latest piano solo cd "TIGER LION GARUDA DRAGON" (2013) is very influenced by contemporary classical keyboard music of composers like Messian, Nancarrow , Ives and Fujikura and was part of a 'buddhist experiment.' (whereas normally spoken, even in free improvisation, musical ideas slowly evolve after the first time played, in this case M Regtien deliberately did not try out any idea for over a year before the actual recording, thus making the recording truly fresh and free.


Music of Maarten Regtien is available on this website and on YouTube.