Globokar's music uses unconventional and extended techniques, places great emphasis on spontaneity and creativity, and often relies on improvisation. His extensive output is largely unknown outside of experimental music circles.
Globokar was born in Anderny, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France. In 1947 he moved to Yugoslavia, where he attended DIC in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Here, he played jazz trombone until 1955, at which point he moved to Paris to study at the Conservatoire de Paris. At the Conservatoire, he studied composition with René Leibowitz (a disciple of Arnold Schoenberg) and trombone with André 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 job which he occupied until 1980.
He has conducted his compositions with Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra, Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra, and Westdeutscher Rundfunk. From 1983 until 1999, he directed 20th-century music with the Orchestra Giovanile Italiana in Florence.
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.
- L’idôle (2012) Music theatre for girls’ choir and four percussionists. Text: Georges Lewkowicz
- L‘armonia drammatica (1987–1990) Music drama for orchestra, mixed choir, 7 singers and tenor saxophone. Text: Edoardo Sanguineti
- Les Émigrés (1982–85) Triptych
- * Miserere (1982) for five narrators, Jazz trio and orchestra
- * Réalités / Augenblicke (1984) for five singers, tape, film and slides
- * Sternbild der Grenze (1985) for five singers, mezzo soprano, baritone and 18 musicians
- Radiographie d’un roman (2009/10) for mixed choir (and seven soloists), accordion solo, percussion solo, 30 instrumentalists and live-electronic. Text: Vinko Globokar
- Mutation for a singing orchestra. Text: Michael Gielen
- Der Engel der Geschichte
- * Part 1: Zerfall (2000) for two orchestral groups and tape playback
- * Part 2: Mars (2001/02) for two orchestral groups, tape and live-electronic
- * Part 3: Hoffnung (2003/2004) for two orchestral groups and sampler
- Les otages (2003) for orchestra and sampler
- Les chemins de la liberté (2003/05) for orchestra without conductor
- Anti-zapping (2003/05) for orchestra
- Masse Macht und Individuum (1995) for orchestra and four soloists
- Labour (1992) for large orchestra
- Eisenberg (1990) Orchestra version
Ensemble works and vocal music
- Kaleidoskop im Nebel (2012/13) for chamber ensemble
- L’Exil N° 1 (2012) for soprano (or tenor) and five instrumentalists. Text montage in seven languages by Vinko Globokar
- L‘Éxil N° 2 (2012) for soprano (or tenor) and 13 instrumentalists. Text montage in seven languages by Vinko Globokar
- Eppure si muove (2003) for conducting trombonist and eleven instrumentalists
- La Prison (2001) for eight instruments
- Avgustin, dober je vin (2002) for wind quintet
- Terres brûlées, ensuite... (1998) for saxophone, piano and percussion (written for Trio Accanto)
- Discours IX (1993) for two pianos
- Élégie balkanique (1992) for flute, guitar and percussion
- Discours V (1981) for saxophone quartet
- Discours VIII (1990) for wind quintet
- Discours VII (1986) for brass quintet
- NOTES (1972) for solo piano
- Voix Instrumentalisée (1973) for bass clarinet
- Toucher (1973) for percussion
- ?Corporel (1985) for percussion
- Oblak Semen (1996) for trombone
- Dialog über Wasser (1994) for acoustic and electric guitar
- Dialog über Luft (1994) for accordion
- Dialog über Erde (1994) for percussion
- Dialog über Feuer (1994) for double bass
- John Warnaby, "Vinko Globokar: Revaluing a Phenomenon", Tempo 61, no. 240 (April 2007): 2–18. Citation on p. 2: "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[full citation needed] 2007 p461: "Vinko Globokar (1934–) Vinko Globokar was born on 7 July 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."
- Goldman, Jonathan (3 January 2014). "'HOW I BECAME A COMPOSER': AN INTERVIEW WITH VINKO GLOBOKAR". cambridge.org. Retrieved 19 April 2020.
- "Goethe-Institut Tschechien". www.goethe.de.
- "Vinko Globokar – Komponisten der Gegenwart (KDG)". www.munzinger.de.
- "Globokar, Vinko". G. Ricordi & Co. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
- "Where from? Where to? Myths – Nation – Identities – Participants – Goethe-Institut". www.goethe.de. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
- "Vinko Globokar: SICPP Composer-in-Residence 2016". www.callithumpian.org. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
- Duffie, Bruce (November 2000). "Vinko Globokar Interview with Bruce Duffie". www.bruceduffie.com. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
- "STA: Composer Globokar and Poet Jesih Win Highest National Award for Achievement in Arts". english.sta.si. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
- "Globokar-Toucher-P". Steve Weiss Music. Retrieved 2021-10-15.
- Allied Artists. "Vinko Globokar" at the Wayback Machine (archived 18 July 2011) (accessed on 21 April 2014).
- Vinko Globokar page from IRCAM site (French)
- Interview with Vinko Globokar by Bruce Duffie, 20 November 2000
- Vinko Globokar Publisher's website: Vinko Globokar at Ricordi Berlin
- Article "Reacting" on compositional techniques related to interaction at IIMA