Giuseppe "Pino" Donaggio was born 24 October 1941 in Burano (an island of Venice), into a family of musicians, Donaggio began studying violin at the age of ten, first at the Benedetto Marcello conservatory in Venice, followed by the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Milan. At the age of 14, he made his solo debut in a Vivaldi concert for Italian radio, then went on to play for both the I Solisti Veneti and the Solisti di Milano. The discovery of rock and roll during the summer of 1959 ended Donaggio's classical career when he made his singing debut with Paul Anka. He then began to write his own songs and established himself as one of Italy's prominent singer-songwriters. He took part in the Sanremo Festival with "Come sinfonia" (1961) and had a string of successes including "Il cane di stoffa".
However, his greatest hit was the 1965 hit "Io che non vivo", which sold 60 million records worldwide and was performed most popularly in English as "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" by Dusty Springfield and Elvis Presley.
His first film was the British/Italian horror film Don't Look Now. Since then he has worked on many films, and composed music for several more, including: Dario Argento's Trauma and Due occhi diabolici. In the late 1970s, He Composed the scores for horror films Tourist Trap (film) and Piranha (1978 film). He works regularly with US director Brian De Palma, scoring De Palma's Carrie (1976), Home Movies (1979), Dressed to Kill (1980), Blow Out (1981), Body Double (1984), Scirocco (1987), Raising Cain (1992) and Passion (2012).