His work is noted for its use of unconventional and extended techniques, closely allying him to contemporaries Salvatore Sciarrino and Helmut Lachenmann. Unlike the work of Sciarrino and Lachenmann, however, Globokar's music also places great emphasis on spontaneity and creativity, and often requires improvisation. His extensive output is largely unknown outside of experimental music circles.
Globokar was born in Anderny, France. In 1947 he moved to Yugoslavia, where he played jazz trombone until 1955, at which point he relocated to Paris in order to study at the Conservatoire de Paris. At the Conservatoire, he studied composition with René Leibowitz (a noted student of Arnold Schoenberg) and trombone with Andre Lafosse. In 1965, he moved to Berlin and began composition lessons with Luciano Berio, whose Sequenza V he later performed.
In the later 1960s he worked with Karlheinz Stockhausen on some of his compositions from the cycle Aus den sieben Tagen, and co-founded the free improvisation group New Phonic Art. From 1967 to 1976 he taught composition at the Musikhochschule in Cologne. In 1974, he joined IRCAM as the director of instrumental and vocal research, a post which he occupied until 1980.
After leaving IRCAM, he conducted a number of high profile orchestral groups, including the Warsaw Philharmonic, the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Westdeutscher Symphonie, and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, among others. From 1980 until 2000, he directed 20th century music performance at Scuola di Musica di Fiesole near Florence.
In 2002, Globokar was bestowed with the Prešeren Award for his life-time work.
Globokar's music is notable for its spontaneity, energy, and innovative use of unorthodox instrumental and compositional techniques. His works often feature indeterminacy and improvisation, reflecting his own background in Jazz and free improvisation. His pieces employ a variety of extended techniques. For example, in his solo percussion piece Toucher, the performer narrates a story while simultaneously playing the syllabic patterns on a percussion array.
- Tempo 2007 "Vinko Globokar was born on 7 July 1934, at Anderny, France, of Slovenian parents. He settled in Yugoslavia between 1947 and 1955, and this was decisive, since it was during this period that he made his debut as a jazz trombonist.
- Lloyd E. Bone, Eric Paull, R. Winston Morris Guide to the euphonium repertoire: the euphonium source book 2007 p461 "Vinko Globokar (1934–) Vinko Globokar was born on July 7, 1934, in a Slovene immigrant family living in Anderny in France. From the age of thirteen to the age of twenty he lived in Ljubljana, where he finished secondary music school"
- Allied Artists.  Allied Artists: Vinko Globokar, URL accessed on 7 January 2008.
- Vinko Globokar page from IRCAM site (French)
- Interview with Vinko Globokar by Bruce Duffie, November 20, 2000