Rauf Abdullayev is an illustrious representative of modern musical culture of Azerbaijan. He graduated with from the piano faculty of the Baku Academy of Music and the faculty of opera and symphonic conducting of the Saint Petersburg State Conservatory. Following his graduation, he was invited to the Opera in Baku, where he worked as the chief conductor from 1968 to 1984. Since 1984, Rauf Abdullayev is artistic director and chief conductor of the Azerbaijan State Symphonic Orchestra. In the last couple of years, under Abdullayev's supervision, the orchestra has achieved a high level of performance culture and professionalism, widely evidenced by numerous successful tours abroad. His wide-ranging repertoire includes music of different epochs, styles and directions. He pays special attention to the performance of musical compositions by Azerbaijani composers. Many operas, ballets and symphonies by these Azerbaijani composers were performed for the first time both at home and abroad under Abdullayev’s supervision. He is also the founder and the organizer of classical music festivals such as “Music of the 20th Century”. He has been awarded with many awards and titles during his active and untiring career.