Worried that his son was spending so little time at the piano, Eugene Istomin’s father decides that he would stop taking lessons with Alexandre Siloti and continue his education at Mannes College of Music. After hearing two concerts of Josef Hofmann, the young Eugene is fascinated by the great pianist and dreams of studying with him. He comes knocking on the door of Hofmann’s hotel room and asks to play for him. He is kindly dismissed and suggested to apply to the Curtis Institute.

Josef Hofmann circa 1940