Mickey Katz completed his mandatory military service in Israel as a part of the "Distinguished Musician Program," playing in the Israel Defense Force String Quartet, a group that performs throughout the country both in classical concerts and in many outreach and educational concerts for soldiers and other audiences. He graduated from New England Conservatory, where he was a Piatigorsky scholarship student of Laurence Lesser. His teachers included Paul Katz, Uzi Wiezel, Hillel Zori, and Uri Vardi. He teaches privately and is on the faculties of the Tanglewood Music Center and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute.
Mickey Katz joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra in September 2004, and occupies the BSO's Stephen and Dorothy Weber Chair. He joined the NEC Preparatory School faculty in fall 2011.
"Mickey Katz (June 15, 1909 - April 30, 1985) was a U.S. Jewish comedian who received his first moments of fame in the 1940s as a member of Spike Jones and His City Slickers where he was most famous for his "glugging" vocal sound effects on tunes like "Cocktails for Two" and others. He later went on to perform his own parodic musical review and record highly popular "ethnic" comedy albums on the Capitol label where he would perform English-Yiddish parody songs. He was also recognized as a master of Klezmer style clarinet and had several hits during his long career. Though Katz sang primarily in Yiddish, he is often as recognized as one of the godfathers of American song parody which would later be advanced by the likes of Allan Sherman and, in the 1980s, Weird Al Yankovic.