From 1973-1976 she was Kara Karayev’s research assistant, and in 1989 completed her doctoral thesis, "Orchestration in Works by Azerbaijani Composers“. 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. From 1993 to 1996 she conducted the choir of the opera house in Mersin, Turkey, and subsequently taught the piano and music theory for two years at the Mersin Conservatory. In 1998/99 Ali-Zadeh worked again in Baku.
Since then she has lived primarily in Germany. In 1980 Ali-Zadeh received the annual award of the Azerbaijani Composers’ Union, and in 1990 was accorded the title of “Outstanding Artist“ by the Azerbaijan SSR. In 1989 she became a member of the Friends of the Arnold Schoenberg Institute in Los Angeles, and in November 2000 she received the honorary title “People’s Artist of the Republic of Azerbaijan”. As a pianist Ali-Zadeh has performed numerous works by contemporary composers from the former Soviet Union, and has given the Baku first performances of music by the Second Viennese School, and of works by composers such as Olivier Messiaen, John Cage and George Crumb. Ali-Zadeh also participated in Yo Yo Ma’s “Silk Road Project” with her composition “Dervish”. In 2005 the San Francisco Kronos Quartet released a CD called "Mugam Sayagi: Music of Franghiz Ali-Zadeh" devoted exclusively to Ali-Zadeh’s works, on which the composer participated as pianist. On June 20, 2007, Ali-Zadeh was elected chair of the Composers' Union of Azerbaijan. Read more on Last.fm.
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