Nadir Vassena was born in Balerna (Switzerland). He studied composition in Milan under Bruno Zanolani and in Freiburg im Breisgau under Johannes Schöllhorn.
He has received numerous invitations to renowned festivals for new music and came away with many accolades, examples include the competition organised by the ‘Westdeutschen Rundfunk’ (West German Radio) in Cologne 1992, the Music Institute of the ‘Hochschule der Künste’ (School of Arts) in Berlin 1994 (first prize ex aequo), and the Mozart Competition in Salzburg 1997, he was also awarded the Christoph-Delz Foundation Prize.
Nadir Vassena was a scholar of the ‘Akademie Schloss Solitude’ in Stuttgart in 2000/2001, of the ‘Denkmalschmiede Höfgen/Margarethen Foundation’ in 2002, and a member of the Swiss Institute in Rome 2002/2003. He lectures in composition and analysis at the ‘Conservatorio della Svizzera italiana’ (music school) and has been a member of the board of directors there since 2004. Nadir Vassena, together with Mats Scheidegger, is director of the ‘Tage für Neue Musik Zürich’.