University of Mobile’s Steinway Artist Kadisha Onalbayeva Releases CD: ‘Think…Together’

Kathy Dean Arts, News

MOBILE, Ala. – University of Mobile Professor of Music and Steinway Artist Kadisha Onalbayeva has released a new CD of piano compositions and arrangements titled “Think…Together.” The 11 pieces for piano were recorded on a Steinway B in Moorer Auditorium at the University of Mobile, an All-Steinway School.

The CD includes original compositions and arrangements by Onalbayeva as well as her husband, composer Michael Coleman. Works by Beethoven and Tchaikovsky are featured, including an arrangement of excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite” which was originally created as a video collaboration with the University of Mobile’s RamCorps and performed at the Steinway factory in New York.

Two compositions are homages to Onalbayeva’s homeland, Kazakhstan. “Alla,” a work composed for the documentary “Muse of Dior” is dedicated to model Alla Ilchun of Kazakstan. The “Kazakh Variations ‘Desert’” reflect the melodies and rhythms of Kazakh dances and draw on memories of the pianist’s childhood. Arrangements of the hymns “Amazing Grace” and “The Lord’s Prayer” are inspired by women who modeled service to their fellow man and a devout love of God – her mother-in-law Dorothy Coleman and friend Susan Turner.

The CD is dedicated to Aisuly Dosaeva, the composer’s teacher, as well as music teachers everywhere.

Dr. Charlotte Hester, a colleague and associate professor of music education at the University of Mobile, said “Think…Together” captures the heart of a musician “with the characteristic style and mastery of the keyboard, gentleness exuberance and often cheekiness with which Onalbayeva’s students, colleagues and followers are familiar.”

Hester said the CD “is a beautifully rendered musical offering by a skilled and expressive artist, but for this listener it is also a musical reminder of the connections that we have with people in our daily lives whether they are fellow citizens, friends, students, colleagues or family.  As we again draw together, it seems to me that these connections and their expressions are indeed something that we should think about.”

Onalbayeva was born in Zhetisay, Kazakhstan, and began her musical training at the age of five. She is the first pianist from Kazakhstan to be named a Steinway Artist. Throughout her career, Onalbayeva has been a strong support of new music and has been particularly interested in introducing the music of Kazakhstan to audiences in the United States. She performs her music and participates in international music festivals as a composer, performer and organizer throughout Central Asia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Europe, Costa Rica, Bahamas and the United States.

“Think…Together” is available on Apple Music at

https://music.apple.com/us/artist/kadisha-onalbayeva/1467761312

or through her website at kadishaonalbayeva.com. Proceeds go to support the Gulf Coast Steinway Society, an organization founded by Onalbayeva that supports music education programs for children throughout the Gulf Coast region. For information about the Gulf Coast Steinway Society, visit gulfcoaststeinwaysociety.org.


About the University of Mobile

The 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, master’s and doctoral degrees in over 75 academic programs. Founded in 1961, the 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.

For more information about the University of Mobile, visit the website at www.umobile.edu or call Enrollment Services at 1.800.WIN.RAMS or 251.442.2222.

About the Author

Kathy Dean

Kathy Dean is assistant vice president for university communications and has helped tell the University of Mobile story since 1993. She is an award-winning public relations professional and former journalist. Her husband and daughter are UM graduates. She loves playing in the yard – planting flowers, picking blueberries, pulling weeds and petting her two mini-schnauzers.