Reza Vali was born in Ghazvin, Persia (Iran) in 1952 and first began his music studies at the Conservatory of Music in Tehran. In 1972 he studied music education and composition at the Academy of Music in Vienna. Following graduation, he moved to the United States and earned his Ph.D. in music theory and composition from the University of Pittsburgh. He has received numerous honors and commissions, including the honor prize of the Austrian Ministry of Arts and Sciences, two Andrew W. Mellon Fellowships, commissions from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Kronos Quartet, the Seattle Chamber Players, and the Arizona Friends of Chamber Music. Mr. Vali has been a faculty member of the School of Music at Carnegie Mellon University since 1988.