New Mexico Teen To Compete In The Cliburn Junior

May 24, 2019

Credit Mousumi Roy / The Cliburn

Audiences in Albuquerque have watched Ishan Loomba grow up.  He gave his first solo recital here at the age of eight, his orchestral debut came at ten, and concerts followed with the New Mexico Philharmonic and Chatter, as well as further afield in Aspen, New York City and Dallas.  Now, at age 17, Ishan is one of 24 teenagers from around the world selected to take part in the 2019 Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition.  The eight days of judging begin on May 31 in Texas.

"The whole premise of competitions at first seems a little bit disturbing to me," says Ishan, "because competition misses what the purpose of the art is -- to move people.  But at the same time I do feel like it forces me to really understand the music at a deeper level and to communicate it.  So it gives me an intensity, a purpose."

In this longer version of the conversation at KUNM, Ishan speaks about how he's preparing for the Cliburn competition.  "I really want to have all the pieces at a very polished level, not just a great musical performance but also an interpretation that's clear to the audience, convincing and personal."

Ishan Loomba performs Haydn's Sonata No. 52 in E-flat Major, Hob. XVI/52 (1), Mov. I. Allegro: