Born in Iran, Dariush Dolat-shahi entered the Tehran Conservatory of Music at age ten, where he studied the traditional Persian instruments tar and setar. He continued his studies in music and composition through the doctorate level, attending the Amsterdam Conservatory of Music (Masters work), the Institute of Sonology in Utrecht, and doctoral work in composition and electronic music at Columbia University in New York. In addition to his ongoing commitment as a composer and professor of composition, Dolat-shahi has for many years traveled throughout Europe and the United States improvising on the tar and setar, creating a complex fusion of traditional Persian sounds with contemporary, Western influences.