When CATcerto composer Mindaugas Piecaitis came to the United States last year to meet me for the first time, he brought with him a very special gift from a very special young human girl who just happened to also be named Nora. It was a wonderful drawing of me having a great time at the piano. She also included a few of my siblings. Anyway, I love the drawing, Nora, and the photos of you that Mindaugas shared with us all. Thank you so much.
Yours truly and CATcerto, by Lithuanian composer Mindaugas Piecaitis, was featured on an episode of the Russian TV show, “The Battle of Psychics.” How about that?
Here’s how it works: A human psychic is isolated in a sound proof booth and a piece of music or other audio is played for the audience. The sound is also connected to a large circular bowl or disc of some sort with a thin layer of sand on the surface. The sound cause the sand to bounce around, forming patterns. After the sound has been played, the psychic is then invited to view the sand patterns and attempt to guess the sound or music.
Personally, I don’t understand Ukrainian, but I get the feeling the psychic guessed correctly. Perhaps, one of my Ukrainian fans can let me know.
August 24, 2012 – a day that will live in the annals of feline history forever. It was the day that a human travelled across the ocean to meet his feline muse. The human was a Lithuanian composer/conductor by the name of Mindaugas Piecaitis. As my many fans, friends and admirers know, Maestro Piecaitis is the composer of CATcerto – a concerto inspired by the piano stylings of yours truly, Nora The Piano Cat. This wonderful piece of music was written and conducted by Piecaitis and performed by the Klaipeda Chamber Orchestra. I, of course, was the guest soloist and appeared via a pre-recorded video projected onto a large screen behind the orchestra. The concerto went on to be published by Peters Publishing and has been performed, to date, twenty times in five counties since it’s premiere in 2009. The video of the world premiere in Lithuania has been viewed several million times on YouTube. All this and still I had not met the composer face to face. All that changed on August 24, 2012.
Maestro Piecaitis arrived in the early evening. As he rounded the top of the stairs, I ran to the piano, jumped up on the bench and struck a few notes. He smiled and hurried over. “I feel I am dreaming,” he said. I settled in and allowed his adoration to continue. For a time, he sat on the floor and gazed into my eyes as I gazed into his. I stretched out a paw and touched his hand. It was moment of communion between like minds, between kindred spirits. Piecaitis did, with CATcerto, what I most certainly would have done had I been born with ten fingers. (Click thumbnail to view full image.)
Later, during our three day visit, I played a bit more and he displayed a few playing techniques he had learned from watching my videos. He’s working on mastering the head roll. I felt honored and humbled. When he left, I felt sad but also very happy we had had the time to share some very special moments. And I’m certain we’ll meet again.
Last night, June 16th, 2012, Richard Rosenberg conducted CATcerto by Mindaugas Piecaitis at the closing of this years National Music Festival in Chestertown, MD. As you know, CATcerto was written especially for me, and I appear via video on a large screen above my human collaborators. The piece has been performed over 17 times by orchestras around the world. Maestro Rosenberg has, himself, conducted the work four times. What makes last nights performance especially significant for me is that my personal assistants, Burnell and Betsy, were able to attend the concert on my behalf. I don’t travel well, so I tend to stay home. It was a fantastic experience for them both, as this was the first time they had seen it performed live. They also got to meet the conductor afterwards. I am told he is not only a big fan of CATcerto as a musical work, but also is quite a fan of yours truly. And he’s a real animal lover who, along with his wife, Caitlin Patton, has rescued a number of other very lucky dogs and cats. Here’s a photo of the Maestro with Betsy taken by Burnell. Other photos were taken by another photographer, and as soon as I get copies of those, I’ll post them.
On January 28th, 2012, the Longmont Symphony Orchestra, with guest conductor, David Rutherford (pictured at left), will perform a program titled “Fur and Flying Feathers.” Works included in the concert are by John Williams, Mussorgsky, Saint-Saens, and my favorite, Mindaugas Piecaitis. Maestro Piecaitis, as you well know, is the composer of CATcerto. And, if you haven’t guessed by now, the “fur” part of the program is the performance of CATcerto with video of yours truly projected onto a large screen behind the orchestra. Perhaps you’ve seen the YouTube video of the original performance with Piecaitis conducting the Klaipėda Chamber Orchestra in the Klaipėda Concert Hall in Klaipėda (Lithuania): http://youtu.be/zeoT66v4EHg
CATcerto has been performed 14 times in 5 countries. And now it comes to Longmont, Colorado in the United States. If you live nearby, I do hope you check it out. The fur and feathers will be flying.
For more info, check out the article by Quentin Young, Longmont Times-Call.
For more info on CATcerto: catcerto.com
For more info on Nora The Piano Cat: norathepianocat.com
Mindaugas Piecaitis, the composer of CATcerto, just sent B&B a scan of one of the pages of the printed program for the recent performance of CATcerto in Amsterdam (November 11, 2011). As you know, CATcerto was composed by Piecaitis and based on my piano stylings. It features yours truly as guest soloist via a large video screen placed behind the orchestra. As of Nov. 11, CATcerto has been performed fourteen times in five countries.
Maestro Piecaitis explains that it is customary in a program to list first information about the pieces being performed, then about the composers, and finally about the soloists. This image is a scan of the page about the soloists – complete with photos. I can’t read the paragraph about me, because it’s in Dutch. Any Dutch-speaking fans out there care to translate? (Click thumbnail to view full image.)
A YouTube video of the very first performance of CATcerto, performed by Klaipėda Chamber Orchestra in the Klaipėda Concert Hall in Klaipėda (Lithuania) on 5th June, 2009, can be found at: http://youtu.be/zeoT66v4EHg
For more info on CATcerto: http://www.catcerto.com
You can also read more about it right here on my website by clicking the “CATcerto” button at the top of the page.
Mindaugas Piecaitis, composer of CATcerto, which was inspired by my piano playing and features me as guest soloist via a video screen, created a piano score of the Main Themes from CATcerto. And here’s a video of Clemens Kummer, a student of Piecaitis, playing the piano piece. If you enjoy it, please consider leaving a comment on YouTube and sharing it with your friends.
If you live in or near Chicago (that’s meow kind of town), then don’t miss the October 3rd, 2010 Chicago premiere of CATcerto by composer/conductor Mindaugas Piecaitis. David L. Crane directs.
And of course I am the guest soloist via pre-recorded video.
Check out this article in the Southtown Star: http://bit.ly/dbcM8Z