Alisher Latif-Zade was born in 1962 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. He completed his secondary education at a music school, focussing on violin and composition and in 1980 entered the Moscow Conservatory, as a pupil of Professor A. Pirumof. At graduation in 1985, he joined the Union of Soviet Composers. In 1989 Mr. Latif-Zade received international exposure when his Oriental Sketch (for saxophone and piano) was performed in Germany in concerts featuring Tajik composers, and his ?Humoresque? for Brass Quintet was performed in the Festival of Young Composers of the USSR and USA in Kislovodsk (Russia). In 1990 he attended a course at the International Bach Academy in Stuttgart. He has taken part in international festivals in Russia, Germany, France, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, including the Institute for the Development of Intercultural Relations Through Arts in Chartres, France. Among his compositions are two pieces for Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Project. In his most recent music he has tried to create a new synthesis of eastern and western, of jazz and contemporary. He has particularly been affected by the many wars among the former Soviet republics since the dissolution of the Soviet Union – "between Armenia and Azerbaijan, for instance, or in my motherland of Tajikistan. Of course this has become a main theme in all of my work. I want to help people understand the value of peace." He treated this subject in compositions that followed the September 11 attacks: Elegy "Do not weep" for two guitars. In other works – such as Apocalypse for 21 percussionists , the trio Cross and Crescent (1997), and Tolerance (2002) – he addresses the equality of religions, a subject to which he comes naturally as the son of a Christian mother and Muslim father.