14 American Composers and Their Furry Friends

Ever wondered if Leonard Bernstein was a dog or cat person? Or if Glass had a feline helper while composing at the keyboard? Check out this collection of photos that proves that even the best music is better with a furry friend.

  1. 1

    Samuel playing "Barber" to his sheepdog's hair.

  2. 2

    Apparently Gian Carlo Menotti shared not just a home and two operas with Barber, but also a love for dogs!

  3. 3

    On the other hand, prolific 20th-century composer Alan Hovhaness preferred cats. Here he is with Rajah Mahatmah Hoyden, whom he nicknamed "Haydn."

  4. 4

    Like Hovhaness, John Cage had a soft spot for black cats.

  5. 5

    Thelonius Monk's furry friend watches the musical magic happen! (But she could probably do without the cigarette smoke.)

  6. 6

    I guess you could say Henry Cowell's cat was more pretty "paws-on" when it came to the composing process.

  7. 7

    Jennifer Higdon's cat, Beau, checks out her owner's latest composition.

  8. 8

    As far as Wendy Carlos's Siamese is concerned, composing time = snuggle time.

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    Then again, for Leonard Bernstein's dachshund, really ANY time is cuddle time.

  10. 10

    Philip Glass and his cat play the moody blues . . .

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    . . . while John Philip Sousa is just, well, moody. (You know it's bad when three dogs can't put a smile on your face.)

  12. 12

    At least film composer Bernard Hermann cracks a smile while posing with his pooch.

  13. 13

    Amy Beach, her pal, and her cat are the picture of elegance.

  14. 14

    Nico Muhly's cat doing some interpretive dance.

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