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Franghiz Ali-Zadeh Turns 65 on 28 May

One of the most important contemporary composers will celebrate her 65th birthday on 28 May 2012. Franghiz Ali-Zadeh was born in Baku, Azerbaijan. Trained as a composer and pianist at the Conservatory of her native city, she passed the examinations in piano in 1970 and in composition in 1972, followed by post-graduate studies with Kara Karayev from 1973 until 1976. In 1989 she received her doctorate with the thesis “The Orchestration in Works of Azerbaijani Composers.” Beginning in 1976, she taught in the specialist area of music history at the Conservatory in Baku and, from 1990, as Professor of Contemporary Music and the History of Orchestral Styles. From 1993 until 1996 she was active as choral director at the Opera House of Mersin (Turkey), followed by two years as an instructor in piano and music theory at the Mersin Conservatory. During the years 1998 and 1999, Ali-Zadeh worked in Baku again. Since then, she has lived mostly in Germany.

In 1980 Ali-Zadeh received the Prize of the Azerbaijani Composers` Union. In 1990 she was named Merited Artist of the Azerbaijani Soviet Socialist Republic. In November 2000 she received the honorary title of People`s Artist of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Since 1989 she has been a member of the Schoenberg Society in Los Angeles.

As a pianist, Ali-Zadeh has been indefatigably committed to the works of contemporary composers of the former Soviet Union. In addition, it is thanks to her initiative that works of Second Viennese School and composers such as Olivier Messiaen, John Cage and George Crumb were performed in Baku for the first time.

In her numerous works, the composer attempts to bridge the attainments of the western avant-garde with the music of her homeland Azerbaijan, but also other regions of the Near East. A central work cycle of the past years is collectively referred to under the title “Silk Road.”


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