Ulkar Aghayeva

(c) Gulnara Khamatova

About me:

I was born and raised in Baku, Azerbaijan. After high school I moved to Moscow, Russia, to study biology at Moscow State University, majoring in biochemistry. I moved to New York City to do graduate research in developmental neuroscience at Columbia University. After a short postdoc and some soul-searching, I settled as a lab admin at the Laboratory of Social Evolution and Behavior at The Rockefeller University.

This is now my day job – and as soon as I’m out of the lab, I turn to my passion projects – composition and writing.

I was trained as a pianist from an early age, and after graduating from a 7-year music school, I continued my education by taking private lessons in piano and harpsichord. I’m currently learning to play cello. Some fateful encounters with Juilliard musicians in NYC inspired me to start writing music myself.

My artistic goals include bringing Azerbaijani music to worldwide audiences and exploring emergent musical patterns at the boundaries between tradition and new forms. Together with my musician and writer friends, I hosted an ii salon series “Words and Sounds” on the joys and challenges of writing music and literature. With my composition teacher, I’ve also hosted an IRL ii salon on the art of composition.

I’m looking forward to hosting more events with interintellect, and would be delighted to collaborate with other hosts.