Ali-Zadeh + Kronos = Unique Sounds

Ali-Zadeh + Kronos = Unique Sounds
© Jay Blakesberg
“If you really want to understand the Azerbaijani people, listen to their music. You’ll detect a unique synthesis of the old with the new, of the East with the West... But above all, you’ll discover their passion for life. Azerbaijani music makes you want to live!”

— Betty Blair, editor of Azerbaijani International Magazine


This month, Carnegie Hall presents an evening of “Notes from Azerbaijan,” as composer and pianist Franghiz Ali-Zadeh joins the Kronos Quartet at Zankel Hall for a concert on the 26th, which features the New York premieres of Ali-Zadeh’s Apsheron Quintet and Mugam Sayagi, and the composer performing her solo work Music for Piano.

David Harrington — Kronos violinist and artistic director — observes, “Franghiz Ali-Zadeh has written three fantastic pieces for Kronos since 1991: Mugam Sayagi, Oasis, and Apsheron Quintet. These works are strikingly colorful, mesmerizing and totally individual and have added their unique sounds to hundreds of our concerts. We are continually refreshed by the power of her imagination and look forward to many new collaborations with her; she is one of the world’s most creative and brilliant composers.”

Last month, Ali-Zadeh’s music appeared on the east and west coasts. Her two-movement piano quartet Khazar, commissioned to celebrate the Juilliard School’s centennial, premiered at Juilliard’s Focus! Festival in a performance by the New Juilliard Ensemble. Ali-Zadeh joined the Seattle Chamber Players for the world premiere of Atesh (Fire), the highlight of their Icebreaker III festival. Executive director Paul Taub shared, “With Franghiz’s unique blend of east and west, she was a perfect choice to be the featured commissioned composer on our festival.”


Apsheron Quintet 15'
2vn, va, vc, pf

Atesh (Fire) c.12'
fl, cl, vn, vc, perc

Khazar 15'
2vn, va, vc, pf

Mugam-Sayagi (String Quartet No. 3) 19'
2vn, va, vc, Schl, synth