Nadir Vassena was born in Lugano in 1970. He studied composition in Milan under Bruno Zanolini and then at Freiburg im Breisgau under Johannes Schöllhorn.
In 1993, he attended Brian Ferneyhough’s composition course at Royaumont.
From 2004 to 2011 he was artistic director of the Zurich Tage für neue Musik with the guitarist Mats Scheidegger.
He currently teaches composition at the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana.