He studied organ with Johan van Dommele at the Arnhem Conservatory and took composition lessons with Klaas de Vries and Peter Jan Wagemans at the Rotterdam Conservatory. In 1990 the Ministry of Welfare, Public Health and Culture awarded him a scholarship to study with Franco Donatoni at Milan. Additionally, he took summer courses with, among others, Morton Feldman.
Van Rossem taught contemporary music and music theater at the ArtEZ Institute of the Arts, as well as organ and harpsichord at the Markant cultural center at Apeldoorn. During the academic year 1992-93, when he was ‘composer in residence’ at ArtEZ, his work was the focus of concerts, lectures and workshops. He is one of the founders of the music theater company ‘De Plaats’, for which he co-created around twenty music theater productions. In 2012 the Orgelpark at Amsterdam presented a composer’s portrait of his recent work. In the same year he gave a masterclass at the Conservatorio di Musica at Sassari. In co-operation with the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and the Orgelpark, he has developed three music projects in the past five years.