FRANGHIZOne of the leading composers of our time, Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, highly regarded for her creativity and distinctive style, has made a significant contribution to dialogue between cultures. She promotes exchange and the mutual enrichment of the spiritual treasures of East and West. Her compositions draw from the vocabulary of modern European classical music and incorporate the sounds of mugham music traditional to Azerbaijan. Born in Azerbaijan in 1947, she studied the piano and composition at the Baku Conservatory, graduating as a pianist in 1970 and as a composer in 1972. In 1976, she began to teach musicology at the Baku Conservatory, where she has been professor of Contemporary Music and the History of Orchestral Styles since 1990. She is one of the pioneers of ‘new music” in the former Soviet Union and Azerbaijan. As a pianist, she performs at international festivals, playing programs that include the works of the Second Viennese School, as well as works by Crumb, Messiaen, and Schoenberg, composers she has popularized for Eastern audiences. She is recognized as a master interpreter of works by 20th century European and American composers, the Soviet avant-garde, and traditional Azerbaijani composers. 1976, Ali-Zadeh introduced herself to the western audience at the Pesaro Music Festival with her composition “Piano Sonata In Memoriam Alban Berg”. 1999, she became the first female “Composer in Residence” to be invited to the Internationale Musikwochen in Lucerne. 2000, she received a fellowship from Akademie der Kuenste in Berlin, where she has lived primarily since that time. In the same year is she awarded “People’s Artist of the Republic of Azerbaijan”. 2008 is Franghiz Ali-Zadeh awarded the title “UNESCO Artist for Peace”. In the following years, the artist received numerous honours by the Republic of Azerbaijan; The Ugur award (“award of success”) in 2009, and the Zirve award (“top prize”) in 2011. Ali-Zadeh’s catalogue of works includes solo, chamber, ensemble, and orchestral music performed with enthusiasm throughout the world on prestigious stages and in international festivals. Uniquely, Ali-Zadeh succeeds in blending the musical traditions of her homeland with modern western compositional techniques. To the numerous works of Ali-Zadeh have been ballet in Helsinki, New York, Berlin, Singapore, and London. In long collaboration with the Kronos Quartet, Ali-Zadeh has written three pieces: Mugam Sayagi (1993), Oasis (1998), and Apsheron Quintet(2001), all recorded on an album of her music released by the Quartet in 2005. Among the prominent Interpreters of her works were Mstislav Rostropovich, Yo Yo Ma, Evelyn Glennie, Ivan Monighetti, David Geringas, Julius Berger, and Wu Man. Most recently, violinist Hilary Hahn performed her piece Impulse on her world tour and recorded it on her Grammy nominated album called 27 Pieces: The Hilary Hahn Encores.
Franghiz Ali-Zadeh was awarded the Aga Khan Music Awards in 2019, and was the first composer to receive this award. In April 2022, she created the Mystery for a large symphony orchestra, “NIZAMI Cosmology”, performed in England by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.
The 75th anniversary of the composer was widely celebrated in 2022, from America to Denmark and Norway. Festivals of her music were held, including not only concerts from her works, but also scientific conferences devoted to the study of the features of her composer style.
The opera “INTIZAR” by F.A., which tells about tragic events in Karabakh, has been part of the repertoire of the Azerbaijan Opera and Ballet Theater since 2007.
F.A. is a major musical and public figure, and is the artistic director of several international music festivals. She is also the chairwoman of the jury of numerous international competitions in America, Germany, and Turkey.
Furthermore, F.A. is a corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan, Chairwoman of the Union of Composers of Azerbaijan, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Baku Center for Multiculturalism.