New York. Josef Hoffman, on tour, 1887. Photo by Napoleon Sarony. Born in 1876, Mr Hoffmann was discovered to be a prodigy and was considered by some the next Mozart.
In 1887, an American tour was arranged and after three months of performances that included fifty recitals, seventeen of which were at the Metropolitan Opera House. Yet soon after,the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children stepped in, citing the boy’s fragile health. However, as per the contract that had paid Hofmann $10,000, he was legally obliged to complete the tour. The contract was rendered void by Alfred Corning Clark who donated $50,000 and, in turn, legally forbade Hofmann to perform in public until he turned 18. The final segment of the tour was cancelled and the family returned to Potsdam, outside Berlin.