Hormoz Farhat was born in Iran. He studied music at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Mills College, California, graduating with the degrees of BA in music, MA in composition and PhD in composition and ethnomusicology. His composition teachers included Darius Milhaud, Lukas Foss and Roy Harris.
After holding a number of academic music posts in the USA and Iran, he took up the post of professor of music at Trinity College Dublin in 1982 until his retirement in 1995.
As a composer, he has written a sizeable body of works including concertos for piano, flute and clarinet, six string quartets and numerous chamber works.