At age twenty, Copland was studying in Manhattan with Rubin Goldmark, a well-known but conservative musician. Copland knew not to play his more adventurous pieces for Goldmark, though one such piece would prove to be very important to Copland's career. At the end of his first year in France, Copland played The Cat and the Mouse at a student concert, and the publisher Jacques Durand came backstage and asked to publish it. Copland was so astonished that he sold the piece outright for 500 francs. He said later, "I was so delighted that Debussy's publisher wanted my piece, I would have given it to him for nothing!"
The Cat and the Mouse, by Aaron Copland
The Cat & The Mouse
Aaron Copland, Scherzo Humoristique for piano - The Cat & The Mouse
Aaron Copland plays "The Cat and the Mouse" on a restored Knabe Ampico B