Jos Zwaanenburg graduated with distinction from the Sweelinck Conservatorium-Amsterdam in 1985 where he studied flute and composition. In the preceding year he was one of the prize winners at the Gaudeamus International Interpreters Competition, receiving an honorary mention for performing his own compositions. He has performed extensively throughout Europe, the U.S., South America, India, the Russian Federation, Korea and Japan including many radio and television broadcasts, playing solo, as a member of different orchestras, as a soloist with orchestras and as a member of chamber music ensembles involved in classical as well as improvised music.
He is known for his research into extended playing techniques for the flute combining his interest in performance, theatre, composition and the use of live electronics. He is also known for initiating the development of the open hole alto flute in co-operation with the Dutch flute makers Eva Kingma and Dirk Kuiper in 1986/87. Currently he is a senior lecturer at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam (CvA) where he teaches a programme called 'Contemporary Music through Non Western Techniques'. He designed and now teaches a new Master's programme for Live Electronics for instrumentalists, which started at the CvA in September 2012.
All Zwaanenburg's flutes are built by Eva Kingma. His c flute electric headjoint is made of carbon fibre and specially designed and built for him by Andries Vis.