Composer (Azerbaijan) Franghiz Ali-Zadeh was born in Baku, Azerbaijan, in 1947. At the Baku Conservatory, she studied composition and piano and received a doctorate in musicology. As a pianist, she is known for her performances of 20th-century composers including Schoenberg, Cage and Crumb, whose music she performed in Baku for the first time. She has toured in the United States as a soloist and with the Kronos Quartet.
In recent years, Ali-Zadeh has devoted herself to study of the Azerbaijani virtuosic improvisatory style called mugham. She has received international acclaim for her compositions, which fuse characteristics of traditional Azerbaijani music with modern Western techniques.
Franghiz Ali-Zadeh composed Dervish, a 2000 Silk Road Project commission. The Silk Road Ensemble also performs her composition Habil-Sayagy (In Habil's Style).