Fabio Vacchi was born in Bologna in 1949. In 1974 he took part in the Berkshire Music Center courses in Tanglewood (USA), where he won the Koussewitzky Prize for composition. In 1976 he won first prize at the Gaudeamus competition in Holland for his Les soupirs de Geneviève for 11 solo strings. In 1979 and 1981 the Venice Biennale devoted two concerts exclusively to his work.
His works have been commissioned or conducted by, among others, Claudio Abbado, Roberto Abbado, John Axelrod, Luciano Berio, Carlo Boccadoro, Riccardo Chailly, Myung Wun Chung, Ivan Fischer, Claire Gibault, Daniel Harding, Paavo Järvi, Neville Marriner, Zubin Metha, Riccardo Muti, Gianandrea Noseda, Antonio Pappano, Giuseppe Sinopoli.
He has worked with directors, actors, artists, and writers such as Daniele Abbado, Gae Aulenti, Patrice Chereau, Ermanno Olmi, Amos Oz, Renzo Piano,Toni Servillo.