Who Will Compete in the Cliburn’s Amateur Competition?

In advance of the Sixth International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs, Gregory Sullivan Isaacs gets to know a few of the contestants, including Leticia Martinez, an Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.

“I did my undergraduate degree at Baylor with music major,” she said, “but I did my graduate work there in law. After I graduated, things got busy and I didn‘t play the piano all that much. Twins didn’t help free-up practice time either.”

Martinez’s story mirrors that of many talented musicians who get sidetracked by life. So, how did she get back to the keyboard?

“My daughter is autistic and she seemed to respond to music, so I started to play the piano for her. It was amazing how much it helped, and not just her, I enjoyed it myself as well,” says the Fort Worth resident.

She is preparing a Haydn “Fantasia” and Debussy’s big quasi-sonata called “Pour le Piano” for the first round. While she says she isn’t expecting to make the cut, she is also practicing Beethoven’s “Tempest” Sonata and some Chopin if she needs them to play later in the contest.