Robert Jan Haitink was born in Hilversum and studied Dutch Language and Historic Literature at the University of Utrecht. Already during his studies, he was active as free-lance music journalist for various Dutch music magazines.
After his studies, he worked for the International Opera Centrum Nederland (now Opera Studio Nederland) as artistic coordinator. He then moved to London, where he worked as Artists´ Manager for Athole Still International, representing singers, conductors and stage directors. After this he was offered the post of Artistic Administrator at the Opéra de Lyon, where he stayed for more than five years, before moving to Vienna to join K und K Wien where he is responsible for the artist management and production planning.