Amazing Nora Plays Piano In CATcerto

Susan notes: Thanks to cat lover and writer/editor par excellence Diana Tyndale (Piranha Communications) for pointing me to this amazing story and of video of the CATcerto (featured soloist: Nora the Piano Cat). The piece is the project of Lithuanian conductor, composer and artist Mindaugas Piečaitis. The world premiere was performed by the Klaipėda Chamber Orchestra in the Klaipėda Concert Hall in Klaipėda (Lithuania) on June 5, 2009. See below for excerpts of an interview with Nora.

Excerpts from a Music In interview with Nora the Piano Cat

(translated from Italian)

How did you learn to play piano?
I lived with Betsy and Burnell for about a year before I began to play. When my brothers and sisters were upstairs napping, I spent all of my time down in the music studio with Betsy and her students.Although I am not too crazy about being petting or held, I do like applause and compliment.

One day I just decided to get on the bench and sit like the students I had been watching. I used my paws to press the keys, and I was happy to hear that I could make sounds just like the students.

Do your animal instincts ever get in the way of your playing?
As I have stated in my book Nora The PIano Cat`s Guide to Becoming a Good Musician (or How To Get Good At Anything Hard), available for sale on, Betsy is a human so she has the attention span of a human. I, of course, am a cat, so, naturally, I have a feline attention span. The slightest noise or movement distracts me unfortunately.

So I must practice in small bursts. But I accomplish a lot because I am very focused during my practice sessions and I work on the hard parts over and over. However, if a fly or a bug flies in front of me, I have to stop what I am doing and chase it. I am, after all, a predator.
I am a pioneer, an example for all of the other cats on the planet, inspiring everyone to try to achieve their dreams!

What’s your favourite genre of music?
At heart, I am a classical musician. Being the intellectual I am, I just can`t help being drawn to the glorious mathematical and emotional perfection of the classical genre. But I am open to all kinds of music and instruments.

If I could figure out how to hold a flute, I might try to learn to play it. Thank goodness I was adopted into a home with a piano! People are always telling me my playing sounds like jazz, and I would have to agree.

Related links: (see the full interview with Nora here)
Raven's Wing Studio (Nora's owners)