Music Written for Nora, the Piano-playing Cat


Susan Boyle, eat your heart out.

Nora, the piano-playing cat, has won the YouTube vote. At more than 13,600,000 views, the Bach-loving feline is much, much more of an Internet phenom than the singing star of “Britain’s Got Talent.”

Nora has been featured in Entertainment Weekly, The Times of London, Public Radio International, CNN, the Daily Show, and Pianist Magazine. She even has her own page on Wikipedia, which traces her celebrity since her first YouTube video was posted in 2007.

The BBC reported today that the ivory-tickling cat has had a piece of chamber music written for her by acclaimed Lithuanian conductor Mindaugas Piecaitis. The four-minute piece for the Klaipeda chamber orchestra had its premiere on Friday, with a video of the six-year-old feline soloist in the background, the Beeb reported.

The piece is titled “Catcerto.” It was written to accompany Nora’s taped solo.

Nora, who started her life in a cat shelter, has a blog and her own Web site, which she shares with her owners, Philadelphia artists Burnell Yow! and Betsy Alexander.

Apparently there are five other felines in the family, but there’s no word on the Web site whether or not the others are also musical.

The family is making the most of Nora’s of fame. DVDs of her playing the piano and the book “Nora the Piano Cat’s Guide to Becoming a Good Musician” are available for purchase. A Nora ring tone, featuring notes she actually played on the piano, may be downloaded from her Web site for free.

Changing Planet

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More than forty years in U.S., UK, and South African media gives David Max Braun global perspective and experience across multiple storytelling platforms. His coverage of science, nature, politics, and technology has been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NPR, AP, UPI, National Geographic, TechWeb, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and Argus South African Newspapers. He has published two books and won several journalism awards. In his 22-year career at National Geographic he was VP and editor in chief of National Geographic Digital Media, and the founding editor of the National Geographic Society blog, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society's mission and initiatives. He also directed the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, awarded to Americans seeking the opportunity to spend nine months abroad, engaging local communities and sharing stories from the field with a global audience. A regular expert on National Geographic Expeditions, David also lectures on storytelling for impact. He has 120,000 followers on social media: Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn