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Józef Kazimierz Hofmann (January 20, 1876February 16, 1957) was a Polish-American pianist and composer. Born in Krakow, Poland; he died in 1957 in Los Angeles.

Famous as a child prodigy in Poland, he studied with Russian virtuoso Anton Rubinstein. He was also gifted mechanically and invented mechanisms for the piano, with numerous patents to his credit.

Hofmann spent most of his later career in the United States, where he taught at the Curtis Institute of Music. He made many recordings beginning in 1903, the earliest days of 78s, through the 1950s. He also made the first known acoustical recordings for Thomas Edison when he was seven, during his first concert tour of the United States, but those have been lost.

Famously, he had very small hands, which were unable to stretch further than an octave. Steinway eventually built him a custom piano with slightly narrower keys than usual, which allowed him to stretch across a ninth.

Rachmaninov considered Hofmann his equal as a pianist and dedicated his Piano Concerto No. 3 to him. Hofman never played it, however, a fact attributed by many to his small hands (although this was not an obstacle to someone with his nearly Olympian technique). Considered to be one of the first "modern" pianists because of his respect for the printed score, unlike the earlier Romantic pianists who used the text as a jumping off point for their often extreme interpretations, his playing nonetheless possessed extraordinary technical skill, poetry, color, and imagination.

Hofmann had an encyclopedic repertoire, only a small part of which has survived in recordings and piano rolls because of his great distrust of the medium. All his extant recordings are collectors items among knowing connoiseurs. He is now regarded as one of the greatest pianists of the 20th Century.

Hofmann also invented the first automobile windscreen wiper.de:Josef Hofmann

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