Music: Prodigy at 60

Once a winter a piano with a specially constructed keyboard is rolled on to the stage in Carnegie Hall, Manhattan, while in the lobby a box-office attendant drones: "Everything sold for this performance. All standing-room gone." When the hall is hushed, stubby Josef Hofmann ambles into view, his head cocked quizzically to one side, an appraising look in his keen brown eyes. Few notice the piano with its keys cut short to suit the short fingers.

Hofmann sounds a few trial chords and externals are forgotten for music that is great.

Last week Hofmann again proved his power with long-familiar music,...

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