Franghiz Ali-Zadeh studied piano and composition with Kara Karayev at the Baku Conservatory between 1965 and 1973, whose aspirant she was from 1973 to 1976. Upon completion of her studies she taught music history at the Conservatory in her native city until 1990. Beginning in 1990 she was a professor of contemporary music and history of orchestral styles. Ali-Zadeh has primarily lived in Germany since 1999. As a pianist she has been indefatigably committed to the works of contemporary composers of the former Soviet Union and of the Second Viennese School.
Franghiz Ali-Zadeh’s compositional style moves between the traditional music of her homeland of Azerbaijan and the (at times also experimental) music of the present day. Two forces are at work in her, she once said, and the new results from the contradiction between them. Her style is characterised by a bold synthesis of these two worlds. Ali-Zadeh creates music in which Eastern modal thinking merges with Western constructive elements.