Kristin Van den Buys studied musicology at Ghent University (1984) and obtained degrees in music theory, music analysis and Early Music at the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp and KU Leuven (1987–91). Between 1990 and 2000, she worked at Radio 3, formerly the classical music channel of VRT, the national Flemish broadcasting institute. Her Ph.D. (KU Leuven, 2004) focused on musical modernism in Brussels and Antwerp during the interwar period.
From 2006 to 2020 she was Chair of Research at the Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel, a function she took on again since 2022. Since 2014, she is also Professor of Music History, Campus Opera at the VUB.
Van den Buys has published widely on a variety of topics relating to music life in Brussels and Belgium, more specifically on the history of the Belgian radio and its orchestras. She is editor of the volume Het Orkest. Van het Radio-orkest tot Brussels Philharmonic in Flagey (Lannoo Campus, 2013) (The Orchestra. From the Radio Orchestra to Brussels Philharmonic in Flagey).