Peter-Jan Wagemans was born on September 7, 1952 in The Hague.
He studied organ (1974), composition (1975 graduation with distinction) and music theory (1977 with distinction) at the Royal Conservatory of Music in The Hague. Subsequently he studied for some time with Klaus Huber in Freiburg.
Wagemans taught at first music theory at the Royal Conservatory of Music in The Hague and since 1984 he teaches composition and theory at the Conservatory of Music in Rotterdam. Since 1990, with a break of some years, he is the music director of the Doelen Ensemble. From 1998 to 2006 he was programmer at the Noordhollands Philharmonisch Orkest and Holland Symfonia.
Several compositions for orchestra were first performed by the Residentie Orkest (Muziek I, II and III, Klang, Romance, Alla Marcia) and conductor Ernest Bour (Muziek II with the Sudwestfunk orchestra at the Donaueschinger Musiktage). Riccardo Chailly and Mariss Jansons conducted his compositions with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. The Brabant Orchestra devoted two concerts to Peter-Jan Wagemans in 1997 with a.o. the premiere of Nachtvlucht, for soprano and orchestra. In 2008 the opera Legende was premiered in a concertant performance with conductor Jaap van Zweden. This opera will be performed in 2011 with the Nederlandse Opera. Wagemans wrote compositions for important Dutch chamber music ensembles such as Schoenberg Ensemble, the Nieuw Ensemble, Storioni Trio, Rascher Saxophone Quartet and Orchestre d'Auvergne. He has an outstanding cooperation with the Japanese pianist Tomoko Mukaijama. At this time Wagemans is working on an opera for the centenary of the Freiburg Opera (Germany).