100 new faces of Kazakhstan: Saida Kalykova

The combination of hard work and outstanding talent is important to achieve success and recognition. These qualities ensured Kazakh citizens to join the ‘100 New Faces of Kazakhstan’ project. Saida Kalykova is one of the winners. She is a skillful pianist, composer and Kazakhstan’s only music academician. She gained all her achievements although she has only five percent of vision.

Saida’s path to success was not easy. Doctors detected a brain tumor when she started learning to play the piano and had a promising potential. Surgeons in Moscow performed a complicated operation and saved the girl’s life, but her optic nerve was damaged permanently. Saida lost her vision but she never stops believing in her dreams of becoming Kazakhstan’s greatest pianist. At the age of 10, Saida started studying music at home and at 11, she enrolled in a music school again. She gave her first solo concert at the age of 13.


- Professional musicians should practice and perfect their skills throughout their lives without the right to rest and take a break, because the muscle structure must be in a good shape and well-trained. Just like athletes, we must develop our muscular system and train before playing the instruments. Therefore, each piece of music that we play is unique because we recreate the compositions in our every performance.

Saida Kalykova’s skills are recognized by both Kazakh and international music critics. To date, she has held more than 80 concerts. Most of her concerts are held in Kazakhstan, Russia and Italy. Her piano skills were praised by hundreds of music admirers.

The musician was recognized by Kazakh citizens, who selected her as the winner of the ‘100 New Faces of Kazakhstan’ project. Her tireless work, unique talent and dream of becoming a professional musician resulted in the success.


- At first, I didn’t even know that I was participating in the qualifying rounds. It was a surprise for me when they called me and said that I was among the ‘100 New Faces of Kazakhstan’. I could not believe it! In addition to the fact that it’s recognition of my achievements, it is also a great responsibility. I should continue improving my skills and work on my personal growth so as not to disappoint the people who selected me.

Saida Kalykova will celebrate the 20th anniversary of her music career next year. The musician is planning to celebrate the anniversary by holding a series of solo concerts.