Dr. Kadisha Onalbayeva

Director of Piano Studies, Professor of Music

Photo of Dr. Kadisha Onalbayeva



Bachelor’s Degree in Piano Performance, Zhubanov Special Music School, Almaty, Kazakhstan; M.M., (Composition), University of New Orleans; M.M., (Piano Performance), University of New Orleans; D.M.A., Louisiana State University.

Areas of Instruction

Director of Piano Studies, Composition, Piano Pedagogy & Literature

Dr. Kadisha Onalbayeva

Director of Piano Studies, Professor of Music


Kadisha Onalbayeva maximizes the intricate fascination of each work with obvious familiarity and proficiency. …expanded one note or chord for shifting tempi, masterfully, with lovely blended tones. …expertise and electricity. …sumptuous evocations of sorrow, longing, romance, and elegance.
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower, Solo Piano Recital at Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall, New York, June 6, 2018

Steinway Artist Dr. Kadisha 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. She attended the Zhubanov Special Gifted and Talented Music School for Children in Almaty, Kazakhstan. While at Zhubanov she studied piano and composition, gave piano recitals and was involved in both piano and composition festivals and competitions. Awards include the Soviet Union’s New Talent competition and various prizes in national piano competitions and Central Asia piano competitions. She also participated in international music festivals in Germany, Turkey, Russia, and Uzbekistan. After graduating from the Zhubanov School, 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.

Dr. Onalbayeva continued her performances as a recitalist, chamber musician, composer, and as an orchestral soloist. She received a Soros Prize for her work in the development of international cultural exchanges. Throughout her career, Dr. Onalbayeva has been a strong supporter of new music and she has been particularly interested in introducing the music of Kazakhstan to audiences the United States. She performs her music and participates in international new music festivals as a composer, performer and organizer throughout Central Asia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Europe, Costa Rica, Bahamas and the United States.

Dr. Onalbayeva has taught piano and composition for the past 29 years and has been an adjudicator in various national and international competitions. She has also been active in giving various master classes and presentations at various festivals and seminars. She has received also appeared in a number of interviews in magazines, radio, and TV.

She is founder and currently serves as President of the Gulf Coast Steinway Society (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi). She was recently commissioned to write a symphonic poem titled Zherym (My Motherland) which premiered by the Kazakhstan National Orchestra. 2015 she premiered Artyk Toxsanbayev’s Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra dedicated to her with the Astana Philharmonic Orchestra, Kazakhstan. She performed these work again with the Albany Symphony Orchestra, Albany, Georgia, USA . Another composition dedicated to Dr. Onalbayeva composed by her husband, Michael Coleman, Arman (Dream) premiered with the Louisiana Sinfonietta, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA.
The Minister of Culture of the Republic of Kazakhstan recently filmed a documentary on the life and musical career of Dr. Onalbayeva titled Independent National’s Heritage which was released in both Kazakh and in Russian.

Dr. Onalbayeva recorded four works for Steinway’s Spirio recording project at Steinway Hall in New York, NY. In 2017 she was awarded an Artist Fellowship Grant from the Alabama State Council on the Arts. 2018 she performed a solo recital at Carnegie Hall. 2019, she recorded “Ligeti Light” for solo piano by Lawrence Moss on a CD released through Innova. She received the “Glad Robinson Youse Adult Composer Award” in 2019 for her solo piano composition “Think…Together.” 2020, Onalbayeva composed the theme song “Alla” for an internationally-acclaimed documentary “Alla Muse of Dior” this documentary is under consideration in Europe for a Golden Eagle award.

Website: www.kadishaonalbayeva.com