Vinko Globokar

b. 1934



Vinko Globokar was a composition student of René Leibowitz and Luciano Berio. Globokar is considered an important representative of the "established" avant-garde, intensively engaged in new playing techniques and forms of expression. He wrote works that were sometimes unconventional in their layout and form of performance, documenting his compositional expressiveness and inventiveness. In his opus one finds works that explore the relationship of "playing as speaking," works that expand the expressive possibilities of the human voice, works that incorporate the invention of the performer, and finally works that contain a humanistic theme. Globokar has also been able to make a name for himself as a concert trombonist, premiering countless works by contemporary composers. From 1968 to 1972 he was a lecturer at the International Summer Courses for New Music in Darmstadt, and from 1969 to 1977 he was a professor at the Cologne Academy of Music. Until 1980 he served as head of the instrumental-vocal department at the IRCAM research institute in Paris.


Vinko Globokar made his début as musician in Yugoslavia, where he lived from 1947-1955, as a jazz trombonist. On his return to France he studied at the Paris Conservatory and led a career as solo trombonist. As such he brought about the creation of a veritable contemporary literature for the trombone, many of these works being dedicated to him. At the same time, Globokar studied composition and conducting with first René Leibowitz, then Luciano Berio. He wrote his first work VOIE a the age of 30, his opus contains works in all genres: orchestra, chorus, solo music, as well as music theatre pieces.

As a composer Globokar is difficult to categorise. On he one hand he has written works centred on the relationship of voice to instrument (Discours II-VIII) or of text to music (VoieKolo). On he other hand he has inerested himself in the potential for invention within the interpreter, inciting him to participae in collective creation (Concerto grossoIndividuum/Collectivum). In parallel he has composed works in which theatrical elements are adjoined. He has confronted problems of a social nature in some of his works (Les emigresL’armonia drammatica), as he is persuaded that music today must have a critical role in society. In order to compose he often finds inspiration in extra-musical questions such as politics, society or humanism, which generate the invention of new techniques, of new materials and of new means of presentation. Globokar considers that any model of organisation existing in nature or in culture can become music.