*10 III 1934 Shanghai
Born in Shanghai in 1934, Fou Ts'ong grew up in an intellectual atmosphere rooted in the cultural tradition of old China. In 1951 he made his debut in his home city with Beethoven's Fifth Concerto. Two years later he was awarded Third Prize in the Bucharest Piano Competition, and in 1955 Third Prize and the Polish Radio Prize for the best performance of mazurkas in the Fifth International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw. At the same time he also received a grant from the State College of Music in Warsaw, where he graduated from the piano class of Prof. Zbigniew Drzewiecki with the highest distinction. Although residing for only four years in Poland, he gave over two hundred concerts and recitals across Eastern Europe during this time. In December 1958 he settled permanently in London, whence he would set off on long artistic tours lasting several months. He soon became one of the most popular pianists in the UK, and the most active musician in the international arena. Each year he travelled the length and breadth of Europe, Scandinavia, the Far East, Australia, New Zealand, both Americas and Japan. Dubbed by Time magazine 'The greatest Chinese musician alive today', he is particularly highly esteemed for his interpretations of works by Mozart, Chopin and Debussy. His range of interests also encompasses Handel, Scarlatti and Beethoven.
Fou Ts'ong is blessed not only with a versatile musical talent, but also with a special charisma, the gift of bringing people together.
The sixty-year-old pianist has said of himself: 'I am a beginner. Thanks to God I am now beginning to truly understand music'. By the way, did you know that 'Ts'ong' means 'a good ear'. And that is just what the Chinese character consists of: hearing, an eye that is open to the world, and heart.
In 1994 a fascination with the artistry of Fou Ts'ong led to the private issue by Martha Argerich, Leon Fleisher and Radu Lupu of the CD 'The Pianistic Art of Fou Ts'ong'. The message attached to this disc includes the following words: 'Fou Ts'ong is our dear friend. For us insiders, he is one of the greatest pianists of our times. His outstanding interpretations should become signposts for musicians of the young generation'.
On winning the 1965 Chopin Competition, together with the Prize for mazurkas, Argerich was asked where she learned to play these difficult and highly specific works so splendidly. She replied: 'from the recordings made by the Chinese pianist Fou Ts'ong!'.
In 2005, 2006 and 2010, Fou Ts'ong performed during the 'Chopin and his Europe' festival in Warsaw.
He has recorded a disc in the series 'The Real Chopin': NIFCCD 001 Mazurkas