Maarten van Norden studied composition with Louis Andriessen at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague and holds a master-degree from Yale School of Music where he studied with Jacob Druckman, Martin Bresnick and Allen Forte. In 2003 he obtained a degree in "Contemporary Music through Non Western Techniques" at the Sweelinck Conservatory, studying with Rafael Reina.
For several years he worked as composer and saxophonist in groups like Orkest "De Volharding" and in his own jazz-rock band "Future Shock" before he dedicated himself to writing music for classical ensembles. The performance of Van Norden's "Cookie Girl" by The Volharding on the "Bang on a Can" Festival 1990 in New York brought him in contact with the Yale- educated young american composers which led to his 2-year stay and graduation at Yale University. There he started working with professor Allen Forte's "pitch-class sets" which proved to be of great value for his compositional techniques.
Since his return in Holland he has written for ensembles and orchestras such as the Radio Filharmonic Orchestra, the ASKO-Schönberg Ensemble, Nederlands Blazers Ensemble, Osiris Trio, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Matangi Quartet. His orchestral works, chamber-music, movie-scores and popular music are published by Donemus and have been performed at the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), "Bang on a Can Festival" (New York), Crossing Border Festival (Toronto), Huddersfield New Music Festival (Eng.), Warschauer Herbst (Pol.), Dutch Music Days 2001/05/06, North Sea Jazz Festival, Djakarta Jazz Festival etc.
Besides writing music Van Norden worked as a teacher of music-theory at the Utrecht Conservatory, publishes articles on the use of pitch-class sets and karnatic (south-indian) techniques in composition and occasionally joins the Willem Breuker Kollektief on tour.