Persons related to Chopin Persons related to Chopin

Fou Ts’Ong

Fou Ts’Ong

Fou Ts’Ong

*10 III 1934 Szanghai

Fou Ts’Ong – 3rd Prize winner, 5th International Frederic Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw (1955). Fou Ts’Ong is son of a Chinese writer and translator of French literature. He was raised in the spirit of European culture. He began taking private piano lessons as a young child, studying between 1944 and 1948 with Marco Paci, an Italian musician residing in China.

In 1953 he claimed his first important victory, winning 3rd prize at the International Youth and Students Festival in Budapest. Also in 1953, he appeared in Poland as a soloist with the Chinese Song and Dance Ensemble. It was then that he met Professor Zbigniew Drzewiecki, who, upon discovering his great talent, decided to take him on as student; Fou Ts’Ong came to Poland to study with Drzewiecki in 1954 and stayed until 1956.

After working with the Polish teacher for a year, he entered the Chopin Competition where he took 3rd Prize and the Polish Radio for best mazurka performance.

Fou Ts’Ong’s stay in Warsaw marked the beginning of his concert career which developed into other East European countries. After completing his studies with Drzewiecki in 1956, mindful of the political situation in China, with the help of Polish friends he managed to reach England. Three years later he married Yehudi Menuhin’s daughter. Shortly he became a very popular pianist, and was invited to perform by renowned concert agencies in Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas.

Called by many music critics “the poet of the piano”, Fou Ts’Ong became famous for his deeply spiritual interpretations of works by Chopin, Schubert and Mozart.

His repertoire is also strong on Handel, Scarlatti, Beethoven and Débussy. Martha Argerich, winner of the Polish Radio award for best mazurka performance at the 1965 Chopin Competition, asked where she had learned to play these difficult miniatures, responded: “From recordings of the Chinese pianist Fou Ts’Ong! ”

Mr. Ts’Ong has made recordings for several record companies, including Mozart’s piano concertos and Chopin’s works: both Concertos with Polish orchestra Sinfonia Varsovia, complete Ballades, selected Mazurkas and Etudes, the Berceuse, Sonata in B flat minor and other works.

Fou Ts’Ong plays in Poland on a regular basis, taking part in symphony concerts as a soloist and laying Chopin and mixed programme recitals. In 2005, 2006 and 2010, Fou Ts'ong performed during the 'Chopin and his Europe' festival in Warsaw. 

Fou Ts'Ong was member of the Chopin Competition jury in 1985 and 2010.  

He has recorded a disc in the series 'The Real Chopin': NIFCCD 001 Mazurkas


Stanisław Dybowski


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