|Oreo the cat, a pianist, admired Ketzel's musical talent.|
She was also a tuxedo cat, always sharply dressed to perform.
Sadly, the 19-year-old cat passed away in New York City on July 13th.
The artist, a prodigy, created her first and only piece in 1996 when she was three. Her owner, Morris Moshe Cotel, head of Peabody Conversatory’s composition department at Johns Hopkins University was playing a Bach fugue when Ketzel “stepped cautiously onto the keyboard and slowly crept along it.”
Cotel said he “grabbed pencil and paper and started taking dictation... When she was done, I looked at the paper and noticed that this was really beautiful.”
He entered her composition, “Piece for Piano, Four Paws,” in the Paris New Music Review's One-Minute Competition. Ketzel won a certificate of best mention for creative instinct and imagination.
The piece premiered at the Peabody Conservatory in 1998. Ketzel (means "cat" in Yiddish) later heard her composition performed at the Museum of the City of New York.
Cotel who passed away in 1999 said Ketzel “was his best student and her fame surpassed his,” said his wife Aliya Cheskie-Cotel.
You can hear an audio of Ketzel's "little miniature" composition provided by the City Room blog at the New York Times.
Photo credit of Oreo: Jimmiehomeschoolmom: