Mindaugas Piečaitis (born 1969) is a Lithuanian composer and conductor who has worked with several major Lithuanian musical organizations. He gained international attention as the composer and conductor of a chamber orchestra piece featuring a performance by Nora, a cat who plays the piano.
Born in Vilnius, Piečaitis graduated from its M. K. Čiurlionis School of Arts in 1987. He received diplomas in Choir Conducting, Orchestra Conducting, and Symphony – Opera Conducting from the Lithuanian Academy of Music during the 1990s. Since then he has worked in staging and conducting performances at the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre, the Kaunas Music Theater, the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra, and the Klaipėda Musical Theater. He is currently the conductor of the Klaipėda Chamber Orchestra.
Piečaitis is notable for his innovative approach to classical music, and for supporting young musicians in their careers and including them in his performances.
Piečaitis wrote his first musical composition, CATcerto, after receiving emails about Nora. Her owners replied to his request for video footage; Piečaitis and the Chamber Orchestra first performed the piece on June 5, 2009. A little over four minutes long, it was widely broadcast on the Internet. A second live performance was staged at the Hot Springs Music Festival in 2010.
- Jane Bennett-Powell (2009-06-07). "Piano-playing cat takes centre stage". BBC News. Retrieved 1 July 2010.
- Sue Manning (2009-08-24). "Nora the piano-playing cat inspires orchestral 'catcerto'". Herald Sun. Retrieved 1 July 2010.
- "Mindaugas Piecaitis". Lithuanian Music Performers' Information Centre. Archived from the original on 2007-10-24. Retrieved 2010-07-12.
- "Žaismingos muzikos orkestras intriguoja nauja programa" (in Lithuanian). Klaipėda diena. 2010-05-28. Retrieved 2010-07-12.
- "Solisten. Besetzung Frühjahr 2010". Landesjugendorchester Baden-Württemberg. Retrieved 9 July 2010.
- "Kūrinys katei tapo rimtu gyvenimo pokštu" (in Lithuanian). 2009-06-20. Retrieved 2010-07-12.
- "Nora wins fame for her piano-playing talent". Miami Herald. 2009-09-09. Retrieved 2010-07-12.[dead link]
- ""Cat-certo" debuts at Hot Springs Music Festival". University of Arkansas at Little Rock Public Radio. Retrieved 2010-07-12.
- "Catcerto" may be viewed at http://www.catcerto.com/.
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