Jacob ter Veldhuis began his career in rock music and studied composition and electronic music at the Groningen Conservatory. During the eighties he made a name for himself with heartfelt compositions which, without being sugary are very melodious. Ter Veldhuis makes superb use of electronics, incorporating audio samples from the Gulf War, Chet Baker and the Jerry Springer Show. His works are regularly performed in the Netherlands and abroad.
Artists who have performed his works include the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Ne-therlands Quartet, the Quatuor de saxophones Aurelia, Electra, the Ensemble de musique contemporaine de Moscou, the Philharmonie Haarlem and the Nederlands Blazersensemble. He has also worked with many choreographers, including Hans van Manen and Nanine Linning. Recorded on more than 30 CDs, his works have been performed in many European countries, as well as in North America, Australia and Asia.
A controversial figure in certain circles, ter Veldhuis strives to liberate new music from its isolation. He makes use of melody and tonality in a way that seems provocative to some, but which connects intimately with others.