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Josef Hofmann (1/20/1876 - 2/16/1957)

Both of Josef Hofmann’s parents were musicians, his mother a singer of light opera and his father a conductor of the Kraków theatre and professor of piano and harmony at the Warsaw Conservatory. Young Josef was, however, a phenomenally gifted child who learnt the basics of music at the age of three, gave his debut at the Warsaw Opera House at five, and when he played again in Warsaw at the age of seven was heard by the great Russian pianist and composer Anton Rubinstein. At Rubinstein’s urging, the German impresario Hermann Wolff wanted to manage the boy and send him on a tour of Europe. Casimir, Josef’s father, would not allow this until the boy was nine years old. This amazing child prodigy played in Germany, France, Holland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Britain. He played Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 Op. 15 in Berlin with the Berlin Philharmonic, and in London performed the same work with the Royal Philharmonic Society.




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