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Published on Dec 6, 2008
In 1953 Miss Keene appeared with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in a broadcast of the Sain-saens G minor Concerto. By fortunate chance, Josef Hofmann, whom Rachmaninoff used to call "The king of kings among pianists." was listening in his Los Angeles home. A few days later, the Artist's Representative at the steinway Piano Company receive a letter from Hofmann asking, "Who is this amazing pianist?"
Hofmann later related his delight in discovering that the pianist of whom he inquired was, so to speak, his "grandpupil," for Constance Keene was the protege of Hofmann's protege, Abram Chasins. (She is also, in private life, Mrs. Abram Chasins.) Subsequently, Hofmann sent the following letter to Miss Keene:
Los Angeles, California December 24th, 1953
My dear Constance Keene,
I was glad to know positively it was you who played so superbly last July, in Chicago. Now a bit of Xmas cheer, and my very best wishes to you and Abram for a very happy new year.
Most recently, among the first to receieve this album was,
whose immediate reaction is published "I cannot imagine anybody, including Rachmaninoff himself, Playing the preludes more beautifully. I was completely flabbergasted by the fantastic sweep, color, tone, and, last but not least, the incredible technique."