A breakthrough is the performance of ..A/.TA-LON by the Asko Ensemble at the 1978 Holland Festival. In 1979 his composition Canto Ostinato (1976-1979) for four keyboards is premiered. In 1985 this work is performed at the Gala of Dutch Music at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, giving Ten Holt national exposure. During the eighties Ten Holt's music is frequently performed, not only in concert halls, but often in a wide variety of places, such as the concourses of railway stations, parks and squares. Muziekcentrum Vredenburg in Utrecht plays an important role in the promotion of Ten Holt's music by organising concert series devoted to his evening-long compositions for keyboards. Various compact discs were recorded during these concerts. Ten Holt's considerable oeuvre can be divided into periods. During the first period Ten Holt shapes his musical identity by struggling out of the influence of his teacher van Domselaer. The two works for piano Bagatellen and Cyclus aan de waanzin [Cycle to Madness] (1961-1962) are typical of this process. This is what Ten Holt has to say about the tonal and expressive Bagatellen: 'A renaissance stage of life finds its expression in the Bagatellen in a style that can be situated somewhere between Chopin, Bartók and Janácek the late works of Van Domselaer.' By means of his own system of composing, the diagonal method, Ten Holt abandons tonality and finds his own way in the Cyclus aan de waanzin (1961-1961). ('The tonal element drifts like a shadow through the Cyclus and presents, sometimes openly, sometimes in disguise, the bill of an unpaid debt.') The second period covers music which is construed according to various theoretical principles in which the tonal material is determined by serialism. The important composition ..A/.TA-LON, dated 1966-1968, occupies itself with the relationship between language and music. In Interpolations for piano, from 1968, Ten Holt uses an aleatory composing technique. In the Five Pieces (1970-1972) the computer influences the compositional result. And finally Ten Holt writes a number of electronic compositions. ('The aspect of so-called emotionality, exaggerated into an almost idolized institution, the certificate of sensitivity, evangelized as the bearer of the "message" is returned (not denied) to its rightful and democratic place, subservient as an equal partner in the realization process.') In the present and third period Ten Holt has returned to the instrument with which his life as a composer started: the piano. He himself speaks of a strong physical relationship to the sound of the instrument. This is what he writes: 'My hands grasp at what my mind cannot "grasp": I believe in my hands (...) Because of them I am in the dark, grasping at a reality which I (being the embodiment) only experience as a nebula, as a sensation.'