University of Mobile’s Steinway Artist Kadisha Onalbayeva to Perform Faculty Recital

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FoxSeatedOnalbayevaStaningMOBILE, Ala. – Alabama School of the Arts at University of Mobile is presenting a faculty recital by associate professor and Steinway Artist Dr. Kadisha Onalbayeva on March 7.

The concert begins at 7 p.m. at University of Mobile’s Moorer Auditorium in Martin Hall, and admission is free. For more information about the recital or Alabama School of the Arts, visit or call 251.442.2383.

This piano recital will be held in honor of Rebecca “Becky” Fox, associate professor and piano instructor, who has taught at UM for 38 years, including 27 years as head of the piano department, and is retiring in May. Fox and Onalbayeva were co-chairs on the “All Steinway, All Together” fundraising campaign that secured University of Mobile’s status as an All-Steinway School.

The evening will feature Onalbayeva’s own symphonic poem titled “Zherym” (My Motherland) which the Kazakhstan National Orchestra premiered in 2014. She also will perform works by Mozart, Liszt, Coleman and Gershwin.

Onalbayeva was born in Kazakhstan and began her musical training at the age of five. She attended the Jubanov Special School for Talented Children in Almaty, Kazakhstan. After graduating, Kadisha entered the Kurmangazy National Conservatory of Music. She was awarded the President’s Award for Young Artists and Chevron’s Award for Talented Students in piano and composition. Later, she received a Soros Prize for her work in development of international cultural exchanges.

Onalbayeva earned two Master of Music degrees in both composition and piano performance at the University of New Orleans. She then received her Doctoral of Musical Arts in piano performance at Louisiana State University.

Onalbayeva has also participated in international new music festivals as composer, performer and organizer throughout Central Asia, Austria, England, Kazakhstan, Russia, Costa Rica, Bahamas and Uzbekistan. While in the U.S. she has participated in new music activities and performances as piano soloist and chamber musician in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, North Carolina, California, Florida, Illinois and Georgia. The Minister of Culture of the Republic of Kazakhstan recently filmed a documentary on the life and musical career of Onalbayeva titled “Independent National’s Heritage.”

Onalbayeva is founder and currently serves as president of the Gulf Coast Steinway Society. Her husband is Michael Coleman, also a composer and pianist, and they live in Pensacola, Fla., with their daughter Malika.


About University of Mobile:
University of Mobile is a Christ-centered liberal arts and sciences institution with a vision of higher education for a higher purpose, founded to honor God by equipping students for their future professions through rigorous academic preparation and spiritual transformation. Core values are: Christ-Centered, Academically-Focused, Student-Devoted and Distinctively-Driven. The university offers on-campus and online bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in over 40 areas of study. Founded in 1961, University of Mobile is affiliated with the Alabama Baptist State Convention and is located 10 miles north of Mobile, Alabama on a campus of over 880 acres.

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